We have this dish throughout the year, it’s one of our staple meals – and the kids love it! But it’s especially nice and warming in the winter with lashings of fresh-pressed olive oil. It’s super-quick, super-good for you, and super-tasty.
Pasta fagioli – total prep and cooking time approx 60 mins. Skill level: easy-peasy. Serves 6
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- Large handful chopped parsley (stalks and leaves kept separate)
- 1 celery heart
- 400g tin borlotti beans
- 400g tin cannellini beans
- 400g butter beans
- 400g ditali lisci pasta (or any small pasta)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Grated Parmesan
Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic cloves. Finely chop the celery heart and the parsley stalks. Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan and then tip in your chopped onion, stirring continuously until it starts to dry out a little and stick to the pan, then add a tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic, celery and parsley stalks, fry until soft. Pour in the beans with their juices and fill each can with water and pour this in too. Season well and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for half an hour or until the beans are tender. Use a hand blender or potato masher to liquidise/mash at least half of the beans but be sure to leave plenty whole. Bring back to the boil and add the pasta and cook as per the packet instructions. Check the seasoning and stir in your parsley leaves. Ladle in to bowls and serve with a good drizzle of tasty oil (use bad oil and you’re ruin the dish, so if you don’t have good oil, skip this bit), and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan.
This recipe has been passed down in our family for generations, but it’s not complicated. Feel free to make any variations you like and create your own family tradition. Our kids, like me before them, and my mum before that, now know this version to be the taste of our pasta fagioli, and anything that doesn’t taste exactly like this is a cheap imitation.
(Don’t tell my mum, but I often sprinkle a few dried chilli flakes over the top…shhhh!)