Pasta e Fagioli: This Italian Bean Soup Is a Pantry-Dinner Winner

Growing up, Daisy Ryan explored different food styles. However, one family tradition has been unquestioned for over ten years: “Every year, my mother and I make tortellini in brodo from scratch, the traditional way,” the chef explained. The soup’s slow-cooked, rich flavor has changed her perspective on another Italian tradition: pasta and Fagioli.

A staple at Bell’s, Ryan’s favorite restaurant on California’s central coast. The dish lends itself to seasonal changes; occasionally, she adds fresh tomatoes or mushrooms. However, the base remains excellent broth, delicious beans, and a generous amount of Parmesan, thyme, and pasta. Ryan’s 2nd Slow Food Fast recipe simplifies the process but retains the complexity by enhancing canned stock from the store and tinned beans, adding wine, aromatics, and a large chunk of Parmesan rind. Al dente pasta and freshly grated cheese add to the dish body, ensuring that bowls are thoroughly sucked up. While any petite shape can be used, the chef suggests that the pasta should be a mirror image of what the bean size is. An olive oil drizzle tops the meal off with a delicious taste.


  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1. (3-inch) slice Parmesan rind, and 1 cup of grated Parmesan Plus an additional
  • Two medium carrots
  • 1 1/2 onions yellow
  • Three 1/2 stalks of celery
  • Half a cup of white wine
  • 1 (approx. 15-ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained
  • 3 cups of water
  • 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Three cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup of olive oil and extra oil to drizzle
  • Salt Kosher
  • 1 cup ditalini or another small pasta


  1. Set a medium pot over medium heat. Include the broth from chicken, Parmesan rind, one carrot, two onion halves, two roughly chopped stalks of celery, and wine. Reduce the amount of liquid by about a quarter, around 20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, put beans in a large pot with water, thyme, garlic, and two tablespoons of oil. Cook on medium heat until they are warmed up, around 15 minutes. In a third saucepan, fill it with salted water and bring it to the point of boiling over high temperatures. Add pasta; cook until just al dente. Strain and mix in some olive oil.
  3. To make this soup. Strain the broth through a heatproof pot, put it away, and keep the pool ready. Finely chop the rest of the celery, carrots and onions. Add them to the drained pot and drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir fry on medium-high temperature until onion is translucent, around 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the broth that you reserved and bring it to a boil. While at it, strain the beans and discard the cooking liquid, garlic, and thyme. Add the pasta and beans to the broth and cook until the flavors blend, approximately 3 minutes. Switch off the heat, stir in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan, and season with salt. Pour into bowls, and then top with additional grated Parmesan and olive oil.


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