Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pasta e Fagiole

Don't be fooled by wiry look of this classic Italian soup. In real, it is a full of flavor, filling and satisfying meal. I was really impressed by this recipe from "50 Shades of Kale" cookbook. I know that I'll be cooking it again and again!

Blog's Category: Awesome Findings

Pasta e Fagiole



Translated from Italian, Pasta e Fagioli means Pasta with Beans. This is another recipe from 50 Shades of Kale cookbook. This particular recipe exceeded my expectations big time. I would never expect I will like this soup that much. So did my folks - everybody gave the highest scores to it. Try it - I bet you'll love it too.

Here is the funny moment - recipe calls for grated parmesan as a garnish for pasta e fagioli. I was so impressed by rich flavor of just prepared soup that I plain forgot to sprinkle parmesan on a top of all our soups. Nevertheless, we were so busy enjoying the soup that I figured out this mistake long after :)

What is it?

This is a soup with a lot of vegetables (carrots, onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, kale) along with a more robust ingredients such as navy beans, pasta and ham. Chicken stock and wine are the base of the soup, in which all ingredients "brew" and develop soup's unique favor.

Taste Description

It's hard to describe the taste of a dish where abundance of mildly flavored earthy ingredients get together and create a single powerful taste and flavor which pulls you in and makes you want it more and more. Comforting and addicting; make a large pot - you won't regret!
Ha! That parmesan I forgot to garnish my soup with would bring even more fun... Well.. I've got another reason to cook it again.

How to Serve

Serve very warm. I don't think you need any satellite dish, although to make it a meal some cheesy garlic bread wouldn't hurt.

Pasta e Fagioli
(Fifty Shades of Kale cookbook)
For 8 servings:
  • 1 cup dry pasta (small, such as orzo, small rings or shells)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 3 cups diced ham
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock (or 6 chicken broth cubes per 8 cups of hot water)
  • 2 cups dry white wine (Pinot Grigio is my favorite for this)
  • 8 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cans of navy beans (or butter beans), drained and rinsed
  • about 5 cups of kale, chopped into thin strings
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated

- Cook pasta for 3 minutes less than called for on the package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.

- In a large soup pot, place the olive oil, ham and black pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until ham is golden-brown.

- Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

- Add chicken broth, wine, tomatoes, beans and pasta. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until vegetables and pasta soft and tender.

- Add kale, bring to a boil, stir. Turn heat off, cover and let it stay for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with parmesan, sprinkled on a top. Enjoy!


- Original recipe calls for a bacon instead of ham. I like to use lightly smoked ham - it bring more flavor I think. Also I chop ham into pretty large chunks so "vegetarian" population of my family could easily omit them.

- I just cooked this soup again and used cannellini bean versus butter beans which I used when I cooked the soup first time. IMHO, butter beans win - large buttery (indeed!) beans looks better and tastes smoother. But after all it's not a huge difference, so use whichever you have on hands.


I guess it's a crime to rinse the pasta. But to prevent it from sticking up, I prefer to rinse it with a cold water. Then it can wait for its turn to dive into the soup.
That's a lot of vegetable chopping for this recipe but it all worth it!


Instead of cooking vegetables in a soup pot from the beginning and then adding chicken stock to it, I followed my native Ukrainian way - we cook some vegetables separately in a skillet and then add them into the pot with a stock and continue to cook in a pot then. Do whatever way you like. If you are inexperienced cook - just follow my instructions in a recipe.

Usually I add a splash of wine right from a bottle. This time, for the review of 50 Shades of Kale, I properly measured a wine by cups... 

This butter beans are such a large cute and buttery goodness.

Don't forget to garnish with parmesan as I did! Although taste soup first without it - I didn't miss parmesan in mine at all!

1 comment:

  1. As a kid I hated soup, but now I love it any time of the year! Great recipe.


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