Pasta and Beans

24 January 2024

You may have heard it called pasta fazool or pasta fasule; this is an Italian dish that has many regional variants.  It is a warming meal that you can pull together rather quickly using pretty much pantry items.  The type of pasta should be small and round.  You can also add meat to the mix.  Bacon or panchetta would work nicely.  You could probably also add cooked ground beef.  Decide which you prefer, soupy or thicker.


Pasta e Fagioli


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, miniced
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes, optional
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes with liquid
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans (15 ounce) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound pasta: ditalini, orzo, or elbow macaroni
  • 6 cups stock
  • 1 handful kale or similar greens, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, or ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • parmesan cheese for garnish



  • In a large skillet heat oil and add onion, garlic, and chili flakes. Cook until onions are translucent.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add tomato paste and canned tomatoes with liquid and scrape the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add beans, pasta, and stock and stir.
  • Place a lid on the pan and cook until the pasta is done and absorbed the liquid.
  • Add greens and basil. Taste for seasoning.
  • Garnish with parmesan.


Tuscan White Bean Pasta


  • 8 ounces pasta like linguine or fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 can (15 ounce) cannellini beans or other white beans of your choice
  • 4 ounces baby spinach
  • parmesan cheese



  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water, and add pasta, cooking to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, mince or press garlic. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant.  Do not allow the garlic to burn.  Add tomatoes, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Once the tomatoes break down, add spinach and cook until the spinach is about half wilted.
  • Rinse and drain beans and add to the skillet mixture. Cook until beans are heated through and the juices are thickened.  Add the pasta and toss until everything is combined.  Garnish with parmesan.


Cowboy Bean Pasta


  • 1 box (12 ounce) pasta, your choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 can (14 ounce) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 ounce) navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 ounce) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 can (14 ounce) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn, frozen and thawed, canned without juice, or fresh
  • 2 cups stock
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced, optional



  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are soft. Add beans, chili powder, onion powder, tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, and stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add barbecue sauce and pasta. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Garnish with jalapenos, fresh herbs, cheddar cheese, or sour cream.
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