Pasta e Fagioli

How to Make Pasta e Fagioli

Nonna’s pasta e fagioli is an authentic, comforting, classic Italian dish – perfect for chilly winter evenings! Her recipe has simple ingredients cooked to perfection, with the beans & pasta perfectly soft and absorbing all the delightful flavors of the sauce.

Pasta e Fagioli is a form of Italian cooking known as La Cucina Pouvera. This means cooking with minimal ingredients that are usually cheap and easily accessible. It’s the perfect dish for anyone looking to cook an authentic Italian meal on a budget!

The key to making delicious pasta e Fagioli is to start with good quality pasta. My Nonna always uses fresh pasta, so that’s what we will be using today. Store-bought is fine, but if you’re able to, make your pasta from scratch (it’s worth it, trust me!).

Watch the Pasta e Fagioli video recipe:

How To Make PASTA E FAGIOLI Like an Italian Nonna

pasta e fagioli made by nonna

Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Pasta e Fagioli

Simplicity Is Best

Pasta e Fagioli is an effortless dish made with just a few ingredients. Though it requires verylittle to start, the flavors are complex and incredibly satisfying. When it comes to pasta e Fagioli, less is more. You’ll need Nonna’s tomato sauce, fresh pasta, beans, carrots, onions, celery, and basil. That’s it! If you want to get a little more creative, you can add pancetta or sausage to the dish. But for tradition’s sake, we will be sticking to the basics. There is no need to add Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino.

Use Fresh Ingredients

This dish is typically made with thick pasta like ditalini or macaroni. Nonna says the only type of beans you should use are dry beans because they hold the flavor much better. Boil your beans of choice in boiling water for 20 minutes until soft before straining them. These luscious legumes are the perfect complement to your pasta to soak up all the sauce’s flavors.

Chop and Sauté

Vegetables like onion, celery, and carrots give pasta e Fagioli a beautiful depth of flavor. Start by cutting up your vegetables using a sharp knife. From there, sauté the onions and carrots in extra virgin olive oil until they’re softened and golden brown. Nonna says never to add celery to your sofrito – wait until your sauce is simmering to add the celery. This will give your pasta e
Fagioli the perfect balance of flavors.

When Are The Beans Ready?

It will be obvious when the beans are ready. You can tell they are done when the color changes to a darker brown color. They should also be very soft.

Making the Perfect Pasta

Making homemade pasta is an authentic Italian experience, and Nonna says it’s well worth the effort. The pasta will be fresh, light, and full of flavor. You can’t get that from store-bought pasta.
To start, take only one egg (and one egg only, says Nonna) and mix it in with flour until combined.

Knead and Roll the Dough

Once your dough is mixed, it’s time to knead and roll it out. Knead the pasta dough on a lightly floured surface, and add flour as needed so that the dough doesn’t stick. Let dough rest for five minutes and cover it so it doesn’t get dry.

Cut Up Your Pasta & Boil

Once your pasta dough is rolled out, use a knife or pasta cutter to cut it into the desired pasta shape. Nonna makes short, thick pasta noodles to absorb the flavor, but you can use whatever pasta shape you like. Boil for 2 – 3 minutes and turn the pasta frequently so it doesn’t stick together.

Nonna’s Secret to a Perfect Pasta e Fagioli

Once your sauce and beans are cooked to perfection, the last step is to combine the red sauce and beans slowly. Nonna says to add a small amount of sauce to the beans and set them aside to soak up the flavor. This is the secret to a pasta e Fagioli that is bursting with authentic Italian flavor.
how to make pasta e fagioli like an italian

How to Serve Pasta e Fagioli

Once your pasta is cooked, it’s time to add it to the sauce. Drain your pasta and add it to the pot with the sauce. Add in some pasta water as desired for a more soup-like consistency. Either way, every bite of pasta e Fagioli will be dense with flavor. Finally, you can serve up these authentic Italian carbs alongside some freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Although
Nonna says the soup is so flavorful, you won’t even need it!
pasta and beans italian recipe
italian grandma pasta e fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

Nonna would be proud of you for making this delicious pasta e fagioli! It's an easy, quick, and nutrient-packed dish that the whole family will love.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 1 Rolling pin
  • 2 Large pots
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 Wooden spatula
  • 1 Sharp knife
  • 1 Peeler
  • 1 Chopping-board
  • 1 Strainer
  • Serving bowls


  • Water
  • Fresh beans
  • 1 Egg
  • 300 grams Plain Flour 10.6oz
  • 1 Bottle homemade tomato sauce Or store bought
  • ¼ onion
  • ½ Carrot
  • Fresh basil As much as you prefer
  • 400 grams Beans 14.1oz
  • 1 Celery stalk trimmed
  • Extra virgin olive oil EVOO
  • 400 grams Fresh pasta 14.1oz. Or dry pasta
  • Salt As much as required


  • Rinse the beans before adding them to a pot with cold water.
  • Boil the beans for 20 minutes or until soft.
  • To get started on the sauce first peel your carrot. Then chop the onion, carrot, and celery using a sharp knife.
  • Preheat some extra virgin olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.
  • Next add the onion and carrots and sauté until they're softened.
  • Pour passata into your sofrito and add a generous amount of salt and finally celery.
  • Boil the sauce for 20 minutes then add some fresh basil right at the end.
  • Once the sauce is finished, add a portion to the beans. The beans will absorb all the flavor.

To make fresh pasta:

  • Create a well with your flour, take one egg and crack it into the well then beat and combine it in with your flour.
  • Bring this together so that you start to create a ball of dough – even when it looks dry and crumbly, keep going!
  • Knead the dough so that all the ingredients combine and if you need to add a small amount of water. The dough should be malleable.
  • Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and cover it so it doesn’t dry out. The longer the dough rests, the softer it becomes.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Stretch the dough with your hands as you roll it with the rolling pin. Stretch and turn.
  • Use a pasta cutter or knife to cut the pasta into desired shape. We cut the pasta into strips and layer them. Then we cut the strips into even smaller pieces.
  • Add salt to the water and let it boil. Then add the pasta and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Once the pasta is finished cooking, save 3 cups of pasta water to combine theingredients.
  • Plate up the fresh pasta and add pasta water to the dish.
  • Add in beans and sauce mixture to the bottom of the plate to prepare for the pasta.
  • Finish by adding in the Nonna's sauce and combine with pasta. Add as much sauce as you want!


Keyword Easy, easy soup recipe, healthy homemade soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

nonna pasta e fagioli

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2 Responses to Pasta e Fagioli

  1. Edward J Berman July 25, 2023 at 10:29 AM #

    What type of bean is best to use?

    • Vincenzo's Plate August 2, 2023 at 9:52 PM #

      For a traditional pasta e fagioli recipe, the best type of bean to use is the classic Cannellini bean. Cannellini beans are a popular choice in Italian cuisine for their creamy texture and mild flavor, which complement the dish perfectly. They hold their shape well during cooking and add a wonderful creaminess to the soup.

      Of course, you can also use other types of beans if you prefer or based on what’s available to you. Great alternatives include Borlotti beans or even red kidney beans. Each type will bring its unique taste and texture to the dish, so feel free to experiment and find the one that you enjoy the most.

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