Pasta with Beans Recipe from Lidia Bastianich


Pasta e Fagioli, also known as pasta fagioli, is a classic Italian soup that combines pasta and beans in a flavorful and comforting dish. This hearty and satisfying soup originates from the regions of Campania and Tuscany in Italy, and it has gained popularity around the world. Today, we will be sharing a delicious pasta fagioli recipe from renowned Italian chef Lidia Bastianich. So, put on your apron and get ready to cook up a bowl of authentic Italian goodness!


To make Lidia Bastianich’s pasta fagioli, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup small pasta (such as ditalini or small shells)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


Follow these simple steps to prepare Lidia Bastianich’s pasta fagioli:

  1. Start by soaking the cannellini beans overnight in water. Drain and rinse the beans before using them in the recipe.

  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, carrot, and celery to the pot. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add the dried thyme, dried oregano, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir to combine and let the herbs release their flavors for a minute or two.

  4. Stir in the diced tomatoes, including the juice from the can. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes.

  5. Add the soaked and drained cannellini beans to the pot. Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth, making sure the beans are submerged. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender.

  6. Once the beans are cooked, remove the bay leaf from the pot. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree a portion of the soup to thicken it while still maintaining some texture. Alternatively, you can transfer a portion of the soup to a blender, puree, and then return it to the pot.

  7. Bring the soup back to a simmer and add the small pasta. Cook until al dente, following the instructions on the pasta package.

  8. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Serve the pasta fagioli hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!


1. Can I use canned beans instead of dried beans?

Yes, you can use canned cannellini beans if you prefer a quicker cooking time. However, using dried beans and soaking them overnight adds a depth of flavor to the soup.

2. What other types of pasta can I use?

Lidia Bastianich suggests using small pasta shapes like ditalini or small shells. However, you can experiment with other small pasta shapes like elbow macaroni or orzo.

3. Can I add meat to the pasta fagioli?

Traditionally, pasta fagioli is a vegetarian dish. However, some variations include the addition of pancetta or bacon for extra flavor. Feel free to add cooked and chopped pancetta or bacon if you desire.

4. Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze any leftovers of Lidia Bastianich’s pasta fagioli for future meals. Just make sure to cool the soup completely before transferring it to suitable freezer containers. When ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove.

5. Is pasta fagioli gluten-free?

No, pasta fagioli is not gluten-free due to the use of pasta. However, you can easily make it gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta in the recipe.

Now you are equipped with Lidia Bastianich’s pasta fagioli recipe, so go ahead and bring a taste of Italy into your kitchen. Enjoy the warmth and richness of this traditional Italian soup!

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