Meatless Monday: Pasta e Fagioli

Meatless Monday: Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)

For a good chunk of my teens and early twenties, I was vegetarian. Sometimes it was tough to be vegetarian in an Italian-American household. My family was gracious during that time of my life, making separate pots of meatless sauce, but I still felt left out from many meals. One exception to this was during the winter, when my dad would sometimes whip up a big pot of pasta e fagioli (pronounced fah-zool by many).

To this day, this recipe is one of my go-to winter comfort foods, and yet I’m pretty sure I’ve never made it the same twice. That’s the beauty of soup- you can throw a bunch of things you like into a pot with broth, and see what happens! It’s also a great way to help clear the refrigerator and cupboards without wasting anything if you’re planning on traveling for the holidays!

This recipe works well in a crock-pot or on the stove, and is EXTREMELY simple. The number of servings will depend a little bit on how much water you add, but cooking for just myself I have several days’ worth of leftovers.

Ingredients:

1 qt Vegetable Stock

1 can beans (kidney, cannellini, or really whichever beans you’d like!)

Several handfuls fresh baby spinach

1 cup fresh-grated pecorino romano cheese (plus more for garnish)

2 Bell Peppers, diced

1 can of diced tomatoes (I didn’t have this on hand, so left it out this time)

½ medium sized red or white onion

2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil

Cracked Red Pepper

Black Pepper

Salt

½ lb pasta (small shapes work best- I used mini shells)

Can you tell I am in love with Wegmans?

Can you tell I am in love with Wegmans?

Instructions:

  1. Start a pot of water to make the pasta separate from the soup. Once it’s boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. Sauté the diced onion in olive oil until it is translucent. Add onion/oil mixture to the crockpot.
  3. Add all ingredients to the crock-pot, including the cooked pasta (when it’s done- can be added later than the other ingredients). Depending on the ratio of broth in your soup, you can also add some of the pasta water.
  4. Season with cracked red pepper, black pepper, and salt, to-taste.
  5. Allow it to cook until the vegetables have softened (1-2 hours, less if done on stovetop).
  6. Serve! I like to garnish it with more freshly grated cheese and cracked red pepper!

The Finished Product

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