Dr. Sheldon’s Recipes – Pasta e Fagioli

Dr. Sheldon’s Recipes – Pasta e Fagioli

Here’s a hearty, healthy, vegetarian one-pot meal loaded with protein from the beans. The soup tastes rich and filling due to the starch given off from both the beans and the pasta. Pair it with a salad and dinner is done. I used the escarole leaves in the soup and the crunchy, less bitter stalks for a salad. This recipe comes from the latest issue of Bon Appetit (Feb, 2016) with some very minor changes. If you’re going to make it, remember to soak the beans the night before.

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Bean Soup with Pasta)
Servings: 6-8


  • 1½ cups dried cannellini (or other white) beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 Parmesan rind (about 2 ounces), plus shaved Parmesan for serving
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved crosswise
  • 2 celery stalks halved crosswise
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, 2 cloves, chopped
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 dried chiles de árbol or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more crushed for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 3-6 ounces dried flat pasta
  • ½ small head of escarole, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (You can substitute the leaves from lacinto kale or chard instead.)


  1. Bring beans, Parmesan rind, carrots, celery, head of garlic, parsley, rosemary, bay leaves, chiles, and 2 quarts water to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, adding more water as needed, until beans are tender, about 1½ hours. (I used great northern beans, which were done in a little over an hour with no need to add more water.) Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and let sit 30 minutes. Discard vegetables, rind, and herbs.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium. Cook onion and chopped garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8–10 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands, and cook over moderate-high heat, stirring often, until liquid is almost completely reduced, 12–15 minutes.
  3. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add beans and their liquid; cook until flavors meld, 12–15 minutes.
  5. Add pasta; cook, stirring and adding more water as needed, until al dente, 10-13 minutes. Add escarole and cook until wilted, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve soup drizzled with oil, fresh grated pepper and topped with Parmesan and more chile (if desired). (I skipped the extra chile since the soup had enough spice already.)

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