Jan 2010

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.ย  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 Americaโ€™s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

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20 thoughts on “Pasta e Fagioli

  1. One of my favorite soups. Well, I just love soup in general. The pics turned out great. How long did this last you? I always eat more than a recommended serving size.

  2. It’s a cold rainy day here in northern California and that soup looks like a perfect remedy. Don’t stress too much about the wedding; it’s the days, months and years that follow that matter.

  3. I knew something looked familiar about this recipe.. I have the exact same bowl and LOVE it! I have a thing for eating food out of bowls and now I’m excited to make this recipe. : ))

  4. Su-Lin – Yep! The moon of honey will be in Spain!

    Hanh – Vern and I stretched this pot of soup eight meals long. Three servings for him and five for her.

  5. This has bacon?I am sold yeah!! Man I so excited for you and Vern, seriously just keep your cool and patient, the best has yet to come.

  6. Wow, aside from the bacon, I actually have everything in this recipe already in my fridge/pantry! That never happens! Looks like there is some pasta e fagioli soup in my future.

  7. ooooh, that looks really good especially when the weather has been so cold and wet. it’s great how you still try to cook even though you’re busy. hope you find the perfect shade of yellow. your wedding sounds lovely already. exciting times! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Looks great! I love pastas e fagioli, can’t wait to make this recipe at home. I’m always looking for simple one pot meals to tide me through the week! happy almost wedding ahhhh =)

  9. i made this last night for dinner, and it was great! i cut the recipe in half, but kept the amount of bacon the same ๐Ÿ™‚ i think bacon is the key. i usually make this with ground beef, but i like the bacon wayy better!

  10. Wow! Just made it, and it was amazing. I used salt pork instead of bacon and cut it like very thick bacon and it made for nice meaty bites! I was worried at the ammount of water and broth you have to add, and I followed the measurements, it was very liquidy but it came out just right at the end. Very good!

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