Oh hey there friends! It feels like it has been a minute since I’ve posted a recipe but I am BACK with a beauty so I do hope you forgive me. For those of you that have been following me for some time you probably know how much I love pasta. Pasta is my claim to fame (My story), my ride or die and my last meal choice. It satiates on every level. If you disagree, I am afraid we cannot be friends. Sorry not sorry.
Now that that’s out of the way let’s talk Pasta e Fagioli. In the years I spent in the restaurant industry I have seen my fair share of renditions on this classic. Pasta e Fagioli literally translates to Pasta and Beans. It is an inexpensive meal that is pantry friendly. You can use whatever pasta you have (short noodle), canned tomatoes and either canned or fresh beans. I use fresh as they are super cheap and taste better (IMO). Such a WIN.
As mentioned there are many ways to make it. Starting with a sofrito is mandatory in any soup recipe and is the base to making your soup TASTE GOOD. Sofritos differ from person to person, region to region, country to country. You will note when you read the recipe that I start with a good hit of olive oil. Please don’t shy away from the oil as this soup is vegan and it is where the fat comes from. A non-vegan version would have pork hock, pancetta or bacon to make the soup more unctuous but since we don’t use animal fat we need to be liberal with what we have.
Beans are such a mainstay for any vegan diet. It took me some time to really lean into the bean. TBH, they are just not my favourite. With that being said I eat them because I know they are good for me and in certain recipes, like this here soup, I adore them. I use Cannellini beans for this recipe but any white bean will do. I like cannellini because they are larger and therefore creamier than a smaller bean. As previously mentioned I used fresh beans for this soup. Honestly I always try to use fresh beans. I find they taste better and they are way more cost effective. Make sure to find the freshest beans possible. We bought bulk beans from our local store and they ended up being tired and stale. The beans basically fell apart during the soaking process. The skins fell off and the beans were breaking apart. Not a good batch of beans. Your dried beans should be smooth and without any wrinkly skin or spots (unless they are naturally speckled). All was not lost on the older beans, the mister made a chilli and I bought fresher beans for this soup.
I used anellini (gf) pasta for this soup but any short small noodle will work. I have seen the noodles cooked right in the pasta but I prefer to undercook the noodles separately and then add them into the soup. Nobody wants gummy starchy soup with over cooked noodles. When cooking the noodles, cook for half of the recommended time. The noodles will continue to cook in the hot soup. I didn’t find I needed to add any broth to the soup as the liquid from the beans was sufficient but if you like a more brothy soup, add water or broth! Have fun with this one my friends!
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