Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pasta è Fagioli Zuppa (Soup)


Pasta è Fagioli is an Italian dish meaning "Pasta and Beans" and most often is a meatless soup.  There is no true recipe as it varies a bit from region to region but one thing is always the same ... it contains Pasta and Beans and these can vary in type.  The most popular type of pasta used is Ditalini, which is what I use (imported, of course).  There's a lot of ingredients in this recipe but oh is it one awesome soup!!!  This is my own personal version of this Italian soup and once someone has had it they want the recipe!!!  Olive Garden's version does come close, but mine is still better!  Of course, I may be a bit partial LOL  Sometimes, just to have a little green, I add a handful of fresh Spinach, but this is totally optional!

I added Spinach just for some added green veggies but this is totally optional! 

Pasta è Fagioli Zuppa

1 lb Ground Beef
2 Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced (1 cup)
1 lrg Carrot, julienned (1 cup)
3 stalks Celery, chopped (1 cup)
4 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1 can Red Beans, undrained
1 can Cannellini Beans, undrained
1 can Beef Broth
1 can Tomato Sauce
1 can (12 oz) V-8 Juice
1 Tbsp of Ham Base
1 Tbsp White Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Oregano
1 Tsp Basil
½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 cup Uncooked Ditalini Pasta

In a large pot, brown the Ground Beef and drain (if needed).  Add Olive Oil to pan together with Onion, Carrot, Celery and Garlic and sauté for 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients (except for Pasta) and simmer for 1 hour.  *Cook Pasta in a separate pot as directed on package, drain and rinse with COLD water (DO NOT OVERCOOK THE PASTA).  Add Pasta to soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Serve with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.  For added flavor add a small heel of fresh Parmesan Cheese in the last 30 minutes of cooking but remove heel before serving.

* Why do I cook the Pasta separately?  Well I have tried adding it uncooked and (1) it swells up waaaaay bigger then it should be and (2) it gets super mushy ... eeeew!  Why do I rinse the Pasta after cooking with COLD water?  Simple, stops the cooking process which helps to keep it from getting mushy once added to the soup.


  1. My boys would LOVE this...I have already printed it out!

  2. Girl it is soooo good and for some reason always even better the next day!