Recipes Soups Bean Soups Italian Bean and Pasta Soup
Italian Bean and Pasta Soup

Italian Bean and Pasta Soup

Italian Bean and Pasta Soup is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 4.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 6 Serves 6.
When the weather is cool and you feel like staying indoors, it's time to make pasta e fagioli, a favorite Italian meal in a bowl. It can be brothy or quite thick, depending upon personal taste. Cooking the pasta separately from the soup helps the pasta maintain its texture. If you have made the soup in advance, add the cooked pasta when reheating the soup, as the pasta can become mushy if it stands too long in the soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried cranberry, cannellini or other small
      white beans
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pancetta
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups water or chicken stock, or as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups diced canned plum tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. small dried pasta, such as shells or
      ditalini
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for serving
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

Directions:

Pick over the beans and discard any misshapen beans and stones. Rinse the beans, drain and place in a saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.

In a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the water, beans, tomatoes and 2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are very tender, about 1 hour.

To give the soup more body, remove 2 large spoonfuls of beans and vegetables and puree in a blender or food processor, then return the puree to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and reheat gently.

When the soup is almost ready, bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until barely al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 8 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and add it to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes more.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top each serving with a swirl of extra-virgin olive oil, some grated cheese and a generous grinding of pepper.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Soup for Supper, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 1998).
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful with some modifications I used canned red kidney beans (didn't have white beans) to expedite the prep time and thereby skipped the first step with the 1-hour cooking. I began the recipe with the browning of the pancetta. If you have meat-lovers in your family, you could double the pancetta. I added about a tablespoon of fresh thyme because the meal was bland and needed an herbal flare. I cooked the pasta in the soup and made this a one-pot meal. The pasta soaked up the broth and became very thick, which I prefer. I didn't use a blender because I like a chunky soup. For leftovers, I will just add more broth. This recipe was delicious and adaptable. Would highly recommend. Great for football season!
Date published: 2015-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tuscan Bean Soup This Soup is one of the best that I have ever made! I use bacon that was Low Sodium and drain off the extra fat and reserved Bacon for topping. I cooked the veggies and added Fresh Tyme and Italian Parsley along with Salt and Pepper. I did add Tomatoes and Beans and also some Pesto I have made earlier in the week with the Chicken Stock and some Water. I also added a rind of Parm. Cheese and cooked for over 2 1/2 hours. I served with a Salad and fresh Baked Rolls and used extra Parm. Cheese and Bacon Crumbled on top. This is great Soup recipe and I will make this again!
Date published: 2013-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great soup, took longer than expected This ended up being a delicious soup, but the beans were definitely NOT tender after soaking for one hour and then being added to the pot for another hour. I had to leave the soup on low heat for another 1-2 hours before the beans were edible. Also, I highly recommend mashing about a third of the beans/veggies in a separate bowl with a fork and then adding them back in, making it a heartier soup. You don't really need to get the food processor out. I didn't even add the pasta. I served it with a piece of good toasted bread and plenty of parm. Delicious! I will definitely make this again!
Date published: 2012-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing flavors I wanted to find a recipe to use cannellini beans. This looked fairly easy (and it was) and my husband loves anything with pasta. Like another reviewer, what impressed me the most was the delicious flavor of this recipe, although the broth was light. I used two cups of low sodium chicken broth and the remaining four cups water. So glad I added the entire eight cups of liquid. Having the liquid with the beans and the pasta was perfect. I followed the recipe, although I did not add a sprinkling of olive oil when it was served. We did add Parmesan cheese. We also had a small salad and hot bread. I could have easily had a second helping (my husband did). I will definitely prepare this again and invite some friends for dinner. Preparation was simple.
Date published: 2012-01-10
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