How do you make Pasta Fagioli? What is Pasta e Fagioli? How do you pronounce Pasta e Fagioli? Well we’re about to dive right into a delicious rendition of this soup here in a few moments, but we can start with a pronunciation because that happens to be the most popular question I get asked when I make this soup. So, I turn to Forvo where all the words are pronounced, what a delightful resource and I invite you to follow this quick link here for a brief lesson if this question plagues your mind.
Back to the recipe! I know I’m going to be touching on a classic for many of you. I’m sure you all have your own versions of this, and I encourage you to share your tips in the comments. I’ve made this soup before and it’s a hearty meal in itself. Be prepared to salivate because this version fills your home with the smells, just delicious smells. You could make it just as a form of potpourri. I hover over the slow cooker (or crockpot to age myself, which we’ll get into in a moment), just waiting for it to be done so I can taste it!
I turned to Lidia’s Mastering The Art of Italian Cuisine for a trick in this recipe, food processing the panchetta (well she uses bacon which you can use, but it may change the nutritional output a bit), genius idea that I would not have thought of, I was just going to dice it as I had in the past. Something you can do if you do not have a food processor, or don’t want to haul it out. I decided to add in the onion and garlic to make food processing easier than scraping down the sides with a gooey mess and it worked like a charm. The mixture formed a nice paste quickly and it cooked up quickly, smelling divine.
When I was researching I read in a few places that people feel this soup can be a bland so I tried to ponder ways to spice it up and add some flavor; I set out to add my own variety of herbs to this soup to spice it up a bit. Let me know in the comments what you think. Hopefully there is enough to make an impact, but not enough to overpower – that is what I was going for, that balance.
What I love about this soup is that first, I get to use my fabulous slow cooker that everyone always compliments me on. It is just fantastic. I hope you’ll share with me in the comments yours as well because who knows when someone will need a new one. Remember when it was called a crockpot? When did this changeover happen because I missed it. I have had to catch myself so many times, and my crockpot is even called a slow cooker – that is how out of touch I am with this slow cooker to crockpot transition!
A side note about cooking in your slow cooker. Timing will vary depending on your slow cooker. If you read reviews (I am always reading reviews of items so I can buy new ones to try out) you will notice that some run hot, others cool, and other people just can not seem to figure out. So, please test your veggies, those are a good indicator as to how far along your soup is. Now, back to what I love about this soup.
Second, I’ve been experimenting with Pasta e Fagioli recipes for years and I think I found a winner with this one. As we have already established, the smells, oh the smells were fantastic. Then there was the taste. The herbs came through fantastically. I think the blend really hit a homerun on this one. But of course that is up to you to decide, mine is just one opinion. Also, it comes in at 275 calories (approximately) a serving before the optional drizzle of olive oil and Parm, so you can have seconds without feeling guilty – who doesn’t love that? So, overall the soup is winner in my book, it is a complete protein (whole wheat pasta and beans), tastes delicious, and cooks itself.
Third, It gets thicker with age, so it is easy to wait for a day to eat it up. Though do see my recipe notes about adding the pasta if that is your plan, I recommend you hold off on the pasta and cook it separately.
Without further adieu, let’s dive into some delicious pasta and bean soup! This should help put a smile on our faces!
Slow Cooker Pasta e Fagioli
This hearty soup is an Italian peasant dish meaning “pasta and beans”. Please enjoy my crockpot / slow cooker rendition of this classic Italian dish – a meal onto itself.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 480
- Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Italian
- 3 ounces panchetta (or vegan bacon)
- 1 yellow onion, medium, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
- 1 28 ounces can diced tomatoes
- 4 celery stalks, cut into ¼” slices
- 4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut into ¼” slices
- 2 bay leaves, dried
- 2 teaspoon rosemary, dried
- 2 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 2 15 ounces can cannellini beans
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat elbows (any small shape will do, cooking times may vary)
- Sea salt and fresh pepper
- Grated parmesan and extra virgin olive oil for serving (optional, but recommended)
- Turn your slow cooker on low.
- Cut up the panchetta roughly.
- In a food processor, process the panchetta, onion, and garlic for about 30 seconds until well chopped.
- Heat your oil in a pan, add your panchetta mixture to it, cook for 10 minutes on medium low until fragrant (be careful not to burn) and add to slow cooker. While the panchetta mixture is cooking.
- Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, 1 cup water, vegetables, bay leaves, rosemary, and oregano to slow cooker, stir.
- Set on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours (Cooking times may vary depending on your slow cooker).
- Rinse and add cannellini beans, for the last hour.
- Add the pasta in the last 20 minutes. (You may need more time, test your vegetables to make sure they are to your desired tenderness. If not, hold off on your pasta and cook longer. Sometimes we cut our vegetables a little too thick!) Season to taste with salt and pepper at this point when you add the pasta.
- Remove bay leaves before serving.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese (optional).
- Plan on keeping this soup around for a few days? No problem, I prefer to keep soup overnight too! However, I would hold back on adding the pasta and cook it on the side in salted water per the directions on the package. Store it in the fridge tossed in some extra virgin olive oil. Add it to the soup as you serve it.
Keywords: beans, whole wheat, pork, easy