Pasta e fagioli, meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional Italian dish. The simplicity of the recipe produces amazing flavours and a warmth that is memorable. I use Macaroni in this dish but any small pasta will work. This is a superb recipe to use all of the leftover pasta bits most people have in their larders. This is a recipe that is ideal to be served with Fresh Bread or Garlic Bread to soak up the juice. Whilst I serve this as a main dish, it is ideal as a picnic item. Just store in a thermos and serve when needed.
Pasta e Fagioli
- 2 cups macaroni 500 ml
- 1/4 cup olive oil 60 ml
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 large carrots sliced
- 2 ribs celery thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 8 oz green beans trim/slice, 200 g
- 1 cup lima beans 250 ml
- 18 oz white kidney beans rinse/drain, 538 g
- 4 tbsp parsley 60 ml, chopped
- salt to taste
- parmesan cheese grated
- ground pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta in boiling water for 5 minutes (underdone) and drain in a colander set over a large bowl.
- Reserve 3 cups (750 ml) of the cooking liquid.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over moderate heat and sauté the onion, carrot, and celery for 5 minutes, until tender but not brown.
- Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the reserved pasta cooking water, green beans, and lima beans.
- Simmer covered over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the reserved pasta, kidney beans, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Cover and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed enough liquid to make the soup very thick.
- Garnish with Parmesan cheese.