Pasta E Fagioli Basillicata

"“Pasta and beans, you can’t do that . . . it’s two starches!” That’s what my new bride (Jo) said when I first told her about this Italian specialty . . . Today she looks forward to it. She enjoyed it so much that she would ask my mom (Susie) to make it all the time, including in the Summer time. To which my mom would say, “We can’t, Pasta e Fagoli is a Winter dish!” Sorry, Mom . . . we enjoy it year round. You'll notice this is a true peasant pasta fagoli recipe . . . no chicken broth, no tomatoes, just basically beans and macaroni; before you turn up your nose try."
photo by calou84523 photo by calou84523
photo by calou84523
Ready In:




  • In a large pasta pot bring a large volume of salted water to a rapid boil over high heat. When the water comes to a rolling boil toss in the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid before draining the pasta through a colander.
  • While the pasta is cooking and in a separate 3 quart pot (large enough to accommodate both the pasta and the beans and sauce you are preparing), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, diced onion, diced celery, the garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables become tender.
  • While the vegetables are sautéing, fill the empty cans with water and stir the water around so it can absorb any of the thick cannellini liquid clinging to the inside of the cans. Set the liquid filled cans aside.
  • Add the reserved cannellini liquid, the water from the cans, and the bay leaf to the sauteed vegetables . Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Add the beans and the al dente pasta to the pot while gently stirring to evenly distribute both. Lower the heat to simmer and simmer the Pasta e Fagoli for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid if the sauce is too "tight".

Questions & Replies

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  1. My grandparents were from the Basillicata region and this is my idea of pasta fazool!
  2. Every recipe seems to have tomatoes. We have a tomato allergy in the house. My family loves this recipe. It's simple to make. If we have leftover meat, it ends up in there, but it's not necessary.
  3. This was a poorly thought out recipe. The recipe leaps to direct you to place water in empty cans, but doesn't first tell you to empty the contents of the cans and place it somewhere or mix it or whatever else you were supposed to do. Mine turned out bland and without a sufficient amount of broth. I love white pasta e fagiole. But this was not a good recipe.
  4. Now THIS tastes like my dad's pasta fazool! My maternal grandmother makes it red; my paternal grandmother made it white...needless to say there was a family dispute, but I think we can all agree white is the way to go. Yum!



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