Italian · Recipes

Pasta y Fagioli soup

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This version of Pasta y Fagioli is simple and hearty. My secret weapon was my cousin’s Italian herb mix (she grows her own herbs and dries them for Christmas presents). Instead of using spicy Italian sausage, you can opt for pancetta (if you want to live it up), mild italian sausage, or even chicken sausage. I like it best with a combination of spicy and mild sausage. I serve it with warm Italian bread for dipping in the soup. You can also assemble the soup and cooked it in a crockpot for 4-6 hours. I often do this during the work week, so I have a great meal to come home to. If you keep your parmesan rinds, I suggest adding it to the pot to boost and enhance the overall flavor while it cooks.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound mild or spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used reduced sodium. If you use regular, adjust your salt).
  • 1 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes (crush the tomatoes between your fingers) OR crushed tomatoes.
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste. I also add 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper if I am using mild sausage.
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Cooked pasta to add to the soup (i.e. macaroni, ruffles, fusilli) on the side.
  • *Parmesan rind, optional.

Slow cooker Instructions:

  • On the stovetop, cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water; drain well and set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and put in the slow cooker.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Stir in garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to bring out the flavor of the herbs. Add to the slow cooker.
  • In the slow cooker, add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, beans, 1/2 cup water; season with additonal salt and pepper, to taste while it cooks.
  • If you have a parmesan rind, throw it in the pot to boost flavor. Cook for 4 hours.
  • Top with parmesan cheese and serve over a cup of pasta.

Stove Top Instructions:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or over medium heat. Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Stir in garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Add salt and herbs to bring out the flavor. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, tomatoes, drained Italian sausage and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in the parmesan rind if you have it. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Allow the soup to simmer for longer, so the flavor will deepen and improve – around an additional hour.
  • On the stovetop, Cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water; drain well and set aside.
  • Top with parmesan cheese and serve over a cup of pasta.

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