Pasta e Fagioli (AKA pasta and beans) is a classic, yet simple Italian dish, is one of my favorites. It’s traditionally more of a soup, but Kramer hates broth-based tomato-type soups (he also hates minestrone, if you can believe it), so I thickened this up to make it more like a pasta with a sauce type dish. It all depends on how long you let it reduce for, so this can be as thin or thick as you like. I loved this because it had sausage and big chunks of tomatoes, and while it only calls for a cup of pasta, it really goes a long way! I used chicken sausage and whole-wheat pasta, along with low-sodium chicken broth and some fresh spinach and arugula to make this a tad bit healthier, and it was even better the next day when I brought it to work for lunch! I would recommend this dish for anyone who’s got picky eaters at home. Recipe after the jump!
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the diced onion. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until just softened. Add in the sausage, removed from casing, and cook until done and well crumbled.
Add the garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds then add the chicken broth.
Add your tomatoes, drained beans, and seasonings to the soup and simmer partly covered for 1-2 hours. The original recipe tells you to blend the tomatoes before adding them, but I wanted a thicker, pasta sauce type dish rather than a soup, so I just added the whole tomatoes and let them cook down a bit and smashed them a little with my wooden spoon.
When ready to eat, turn the soup up to a slow boil then add the pasta and cook per instructions until al dente, then add your fresh greens.
Serve with a little Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 turkey or chicken sausages, casings removed
- ½ sweet yellow onion (I used a white onion), diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, blended (I did not blend mine for a thick soup)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 15 oz. cans white beans, drained
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- a pinch of crushed red pepper (I probably used ½ teaspoon)
- kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup whole grain tubed shaped pasta (I used about 1½ cups to thicken it)
- 1-2 cups of fresh baby spinach and/or arugula
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (I used the Parm but I don't think it's necessary if you don't have any on hand)
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until softened.
- Add the sausage, removed from casing, and cook until done and well crumbled. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds, then add the chicken broth.
- Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl, blend the tomatoes thoroughly with an immersion blender (or just use a blender) then pour into the Dutch oven (** I did not do this, I just dumped the tomatoes straight in and let them cook and soften and broke them up a bit with a wooden spoon - it makes for a chunkier sauce, if that's your taste). Add the drained beans and seasonings to the soup and simmer partly covered for 1-2 hours.
- When you are ready to eat up, turn the soup to a slow boil then add the pasta and cook per instructions. Taste the soup and re-season if needed. Once the pasta is cooked, add the fresh spinach and parsley and stir until wilted. Serve with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. Serves about 4-5.