This delicious and simple Easy Pasta e Fagioli recipe is super easy to prepare and delivers on flavor. The best comfort food to serve for dinner!
Just to let you know: This Pasta e Fagioli drives me nuts. It’s so good I could eat it three times a day!
It’s comforting, filling and makes me feel on top of the world while all the Parmesan-y cheesy goodness makes my heart pound with pasta-and-bean love.
I believe I have mentioned before that I tend to exaggerate the teeny-tiniest little bit and I probably say this about every recipe I post (but what kind of a person would I be if I didn’t love every single recipe I share?) – but THIS. This is so non-exaggerated overly delicious.
The combination of delicious Orecchiette, fresh spinach, soft beans and all the saucy, cheesy goodness – it gives me sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach. That’s how much I’m all over this simple Pasta e Fagioli.
This recipe has seen this kitchen so many times I totally lost count. It’s one of the first things Branimir cooked for me when we moved in together and it’s been a regular house guest ever since. Sometimes during winter we make it so often I’m almost embarrassed to talk about it. #whoops
Last week was a major milestone for us:
First Christmas as a family! Woohoo! We originally planned on spending Christmas Eve at home just the three of us, cook some delicious food and watch an old Christmas movie.
But then life happened and Kettle chips in front of the TV it was. Am I ashamed about this? A bit. Will it be a great story to tell my grandkids? I hope I’ll remember.
We had a wonderful (but also immensely tiring) rest of Christmas with lots of good food (made by my loving family, not me) even though there was no snow at all.
UNTIL two days ago. That’s right, just after Christmas it started snowing like crazy. In a don’t-move-the-car-or-we-will-never-get-back-home kind of way. And this morning I woke up to the most beautiful winter wonderland you could ever imagine!
Since I had all the ingredients for Pasta e Fagioli in the house I decided this would be the perfect thing to cook on this chilly, freezing cold and snowy winter day.
All you need to have on hand are a few pantry staples and veggies plus fresh spinach if you’re in a healthy greens sort of mood.
Now I know there’s about a million and two recipes for Pasta e Fagioli out there but this one is truly special. It comes from Branimir’s Croatian grandmother who used to cook it for the entire family to eat after plucking olives. Now I know that icy-cold Switzerland and wonderful-warm Croatia sound pretty different from each other but this recipe is perfect anywhere, anytime where nourishing comfort food is needed.
Which is about 365 days a year for me.
It’s also SUPER low on hands-on time which is great if you’re like me and discover just how much the kitchen is in need of a thorough clean while chopping the veggies for dinner.
Once everything (minus the pasta) is in the pot you’ve got about 45 minutes to rummage through your baking cabinet and discover flour that expired a few months ago. Yes, flour. I let flour expire. I mean, how?! Let’s forget all about that by looking at a wintery-snowy-snow landscape, mmmkay?
This recipe starts off with cooking some chopped shallots and minced garlic without browning before adding carrots and celery. Then beans, broth and a bay leaf join the party to simmer for 30-45 minutes (don’t forget the baking cabinet!) before the tomato comes along and the pasta cooks right in this amazingly fragrant soup-stew-sauce-I-don’t-know-what-to-call-it.
Let me just say two words about the pasta. I promise, two words.
Use Orecchiette. There, two words. But please, try it with Orecchiette.
These little bowls of pasta goodness are so wonderful right here and they make all the difference in the world when it comes to the texture of the Pasta e Fagioli.
The beans and vegetables get the chance to nestle themselves up in a lovely pasta hiding place to give you super-lots of flavor with each bite. Just try it.
Orecchiette rule the Pasta e Fagioli world.
Concerning the spinach: Totally optional. But also totally non-optional because it lends the whole thing such a healthy-earthy-feel-good taste. Also non-optional: Those Parmesan cheese shavings. Because good cheese = deep love.
And that’s just how I love my comfort foods: With a bit of healthy, a bit of cheese and loads of YUM!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, cubed
- 1 celery stalk, cubed
- 1 cup black eyed beans, soaked overnight and drained (or use 2 cans cooked beans)
- 28 oz vegetable broth (chicken is fine, too)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 pound orecchiette pasta
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- A few handfuls fresh spinach, optional
- Chopped parsley and parmesan shavings for topping, optional
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic without browning, about 2-3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Put the beans into the pot and give it a good stir. Cover with the vegetable broth and water and bring to the boil. Add the bay leaf and cover to simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the beans are almost done.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and once again bring to a boil before adding the Orecchiette pasta. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper to taste. Finish cooking until the pasta is al dente and stir in the fresh spinach.
- Serve topped with chopped parsley and parmesan shavings.