This healthy pasta e fagioli is a thick winter soup of pasta and beans is a great comforting dish. It can serve as a hearty lunch or dinner when accompanied by a salad and some rustic whole wheat bread. You can use shells, orecchiette, whole wheat penne, or farfalle in this soup — whatever you like. However, use fresh herbs when possible for a better flavor. You can substitute marjoram for the oregano. Any combination of white beans (Great Nothern, cannellini, large limas, small white beans, etc.) will work. And of course, you can use low-sodium canned beans if you prefer; one can is about 15 ounces.
1 pound dried white beans, such as cannellini or navy beans
4 quarts low-sodium organic vegetable or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 celery ribs, with leaves, sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
1 pound whole wheat farfalle or penne, cooked according to package directions
Salt and pepper
Soak the beans in cold water to cover for 6 hours or overnight. Discard the water.
Cook the beans in the broth in a large pot with the bay leaves until tender, about 45 minutes, skimming off any foam as it forms.
In a small skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until fragrant and golden. Add to the beans along with the crushed tomatoes and celery with leaves, and simmer for 5 minutes. Skim foam as necessary. Stir in the oregano, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide the pasta among to bowls and ladle in the soup.
Why We Love It
This recipe for pasta fagiole tastes like someone’s Italian grandmother made it. For vegetarians, the variety of white beans make getting your protein easy. For non-vegetarians, this classic dish is just as satisfying as it would be with meat. Loaded with a variety of SuperFoods, not only does this soup taste amazing, but from the colors in this dish, you know you’re getting a wide range of nutrients.