Pasta e Fagioli


With the wedding only three months away, nearly every free minute has been devoted to making the Astronomer-Gastronomer union something kinda spectacular. From hunting down bridesmaid dresses in the perfect shade of yellow to debating the merits of individual cupcakes versus traditional tiers, finalizing every detail of our nuptials has taken over our lives and thankfully, only some of our sanity.

While I used to devote serious effort into our suppers, during these hectic times, simple and hearty soups like this Pasta e Fagioli have become a household staple. There are many things to love about this one-pot wonder. Logistically speaking, it takes just under an hour to prepare and lasts for days and days—not having to think about what’s for lunch or dinner is a dream. Nutritionally speaking, every major food group is covered, from carbohydrates to vegetables and protein.  Pasta e Fagioli is the gift that keeps on giving.

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped medium
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 3/4 cups orzo
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesean cheese, grated
  • Extra virgin olive oil (for serving)


Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.


Stir in the onion, zucchini, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onion and zucchini are softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, beans, broth, water, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.


Stir in the pasta and cook until just slightly underdone.


Off the heat, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual bowls with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

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