The first time I ever had Pasta e Fagioli was at a local West Side of Buffalo restaurant called Santasiero’s. It was amazing, and yet whenever I have ordered it elsewhere, it just is NOT the same. I suppose I have high standards for pasta and beans. 😂 Ultimately I was inspired by my old neighborhood roots to create this Pasta e Fagioli Recipe. I think it is the most authentic and closest to my favorite restaurant experience. So I hope you enjoy this West Side Pasta e Fagioli recipe as much as I do.
Here are the ingredients I use in my recipe.
Usually, I opt for chicken broth with no salt or very low sodium, as I prefer to add it in myself. I have also made this dish with beef and vegetable broths. Pasta e Fagioli is a great vegetarian or vegan option when using vegetable broth!
More variations on Pasta e Fagioli
There are many variations of this soup, as I have learned. Even when I Google Pasta e Fagioli recipes, the ingredients and appearance vary so much. Personally, for me, simpler is better. Therefore my method does not have anything fancy. The key is in the seasonings, minced garlic, and parm cheese. 😉
You may find you want to experiment with your own Pasta e Fagioli recipe. As I said, there are many different processes I have found to be out there.
Some people like to add meat like pieces of bacon or sausage before frying the garlic in the base.
Another option is adding different beans or starting with dry beans and soaking them. I can’t get the whole dry bean process down, so I always opt for the already perfectly softened canned beans. 😊
You can change things up with this soup also by using the entire can of diced tomatoes or even adding tomato sauce. As you will see in my recipe, I use half a can of diced tomatoes and all of the juice.
Finally, consider adding in veggies like carrots, celery, onions as this seems to be pretty standard in many of the online recipes. Not going to lie though, to me, that’s not right. 😂
My family enjoys my basic but authentic west side recipe for Pasta e Fagioli very much. Above all, I hope you do too!
Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)
- Large Pot
- 2 tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 32 fl. oz. Carton of low-sodium broth Use Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable
- 1 15 oz. can Butter Beans
- 1 15 oz. can Garbanzo Beans
- 1 15 oz. can White Northern Beans or Cannellini Beans
- 1 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Oregano, and Garlic Use all of the juice but only about half of the diced tomatoes. The remaining tomatoes can be for another recipe like chili.
- 1 box Ditalini pasta
- 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese Do not use freshly grated (it will melt weird and be chewy in the soup).
- Garlic Powder
- Fresh or Grated Parm Cheese for garnish (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large, deep pot. Add the minced garlic and fry until slightly softened about 1 - 2 minutes.
- Next, add a 32 fl. oz. carton of low-sodium broth to the pot. Many packaged broths have an unnecessary amount of added sodium. Therefore it is best to go with a lower sodium option and season the soup with your own salt.
- Add the basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper according to your taste. If you like less spice, be moderate. You can always add some later. One of my favorite seasoning variations is to use the Delallo Garlic, Pepper, and Tomato Bread dipping blend! It flavors the broth super nicely, despite being a spice combo for dipping bread.
- Then, drain and rinse the Butter Beans, Garbanzo Beans, and White Northern (or Cannellini) Beans. Add all of the beans to the pot. Some recipes add the beans with their liquid. However, I have found that to give a more starchy texture to the soup. Therefore, I prefer to drain and rinse the beans.
- Open the can of seasoned diced tomatoes and add all of the juice. Also, add just some of the tomatoes, about half the can or even less. I don't like my broth very saucy, therefore I add the juice mostly for color and a touch of flavor. The leftover tomatoes can be used in another recipe, like chili.
- Bring soup to a boil and then lower to medium heat. Cook for about another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the water for the ditalini pasta and cook it al dente, about 6 minutes. The ditalini pasta is best-cooked al dente so that it doesn't get mushy, especially since it will absorb the soup broth.
- Finally, add the two together, then top with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!!