Recipe: Pasta Fagioli Soup

When I was a kid we used to have dinner at my Nana’s every Tuesday night. My favorite dish was her homemade pasta fagioli (pronounced pasta fah-zool). As a kid I liked saying it as much as I liked eating it.

I’ve been wondering about her recipe for years now. I never asked her for it and I’m sure she never wrote it down. Trouble is that I crave the stuff constantly especially once the temperature dips below 40 degrees. I’ve been obsessing about it lately, going over the ingredients in my head and wondering how I could replicate her version. Finally I realized that I was totally over thinking it, it’s a tomato based soup with pasta and beans. How hard could it be?

I did a quick recipe search online and used these two recipes as my guide (recipe 1, recipe 2).

The New Keough Family Pasta Fagioli Recipe
1 carton of low sodium chicken stock
2 (32 oz.) cans of white/cannellini beans and their liquid
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 minced onion
2 tbsp. EVOO
1.5 tbsp. crushed garlic
Half a pound of any short cut/small pasta
1 tsp. red pepper flake
1.5 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste (for me = 1.5 tsp. kosher salt and 2 tbsp. black pepper)

Note: I also want to mention I was experimenting with my EF 50mm f1.8II lens this weekend and shot this whole blog with it. Thoughts??


Sautee minced onion in EVOO. When it becomes soft and translucent, add in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flake, and let it jive together for 2-3 minutes.


Next add in all of the chicken stock and let it cook together for 5 minutes.


Up next, add your beans and tomatoes!


I really didn’t want to add the bean liquid to the soup because a) ew, b) slimy, and c) I always rinse my beans but several recipes called for it as a thickening agent so I followed along, even with my reservations.


My Nana’s pasta fagioli always used spaghetti in small lengths. I have no idea how she came up with this or where she got it but I snapped regular length spaghetti to match the size of hers.


Add the spaghetti to the soup and cook for 10-15 minutes until al dente.

Note: Any leftovers not eaten right away will thicken substantially because the pasta will keep absorbing the rest of the liquid/broth. I don’t mind that at all but if you do, you may want to keep some extra chicken stock on hand to thin out the leftovers when you eat them later.


Piping hot, perfectly creamy, comforting, hearty, and full of good memories.

Garnish with parmesan cheese for added flavor.


I think my Nana would be proud!

Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

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