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Published on November 20, 2006 By Xythe In Cooking

Italian Peasant Food : Pasta Fagioli

Here is another of my favorites folks. This is a great one for those cold winter nights, and damp, miserable days.

Pasta Fagioli, pronounced (Fah-ZOHE-Lee), is Italian for pasta bean soup. It consists of kidney beans, tomato paste, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper, and of course the pasta.

You might see this in a restaurant someplace, where they use sliced carrots and frozen green peas. These guys are not peasants, but if you want to add this in, go ahead. I never ate it like that, so it’s not my preference. Also, these guys make the soup fairly thin, also not the peasant style. Make the stuff fairly thick. If it’s to thick for your liking, you can cut it down with H2O later on without penalty.

The soup itself can be frozen if you do not add the pasta. To eat it later on, simp[ly thaw the soup, cook the pasta, and mix it all up.

This recipe feeds about 6 people, costs about $5.00, and cooks in less than 1 hour. You can save a few bucks by using dry kidney beans and soaking them overnight, like the real peasants did if you prefer.

Stuff you need:

1)  6 cans of kidney beans rinsed under cold H2O

2) 1 ½ small cans of tomato paste

3) 1 large onion

4) ¼ olive oil

5) Salt & Pepper

6) About 1lb pasta (baby pipes, or the tiny elbows

The cooking:

1) Rinse the kidney beans under cold running water.

2) In a blender, liquefy 4 ½ cans of the kidney beans, (or just a shade more than 2/3 of all the beans), and dump them into a 6qt pot.

3) Place the remaining beans in the pot as well; this is the base of the soup.

4) Cook the soup base GENTALLY over medium to medium-high heat, and bring it just under a boil. You really need to keep this stuff from burning, or its going to ruin the whole soup. If it burns in the slightest, there is NO recovering it, so please be sure to stir it often as the onion and tomato paste is prepared. When the sides of you pot feels HOT to the touch, hot enough to toss in the onion-tomato paste mixture.

5) In a medium cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

6) Chop up the onion, and when the oil begins to smoke, toss in the onion, salt & pepper to your liking, and cook until clear.

7) Plop in the tomato paste, and mash it into the cooked onion with a fork, until its pretty well mixed, and reduce the heat to simmer. Careful not to let this burn.

8) Begin cooking the pasta in a medium saucepan using salt and some olive oil.

9) When the onion and tomato paste mixture is heated, and the soup base is hot enough, put the onion-tomato paste mixture into the soup base, and mix it until the tomato paste homogenizes with the soup base. This is the completed soup.

10) Drain your cooked pasta, and pour it into the soup and mix it all up.

That’s all there is to it. I make this myself with a green salad, and of course a BIG loaf of Vienna bread and a nice bottle of zinfandel. (Red of course, everybody knows zins are red, no matter how they try to sell it)

on Nov 20, 2006

Oooo thanks for the pictures!!  and it sounds DEeeeeeeeeeeeelious!   this I will hafta try!  


on Nov 20, 2006

Now THIS is an article that SHOULD be on the front page,  FEATURED,   not some of the lame things that get chosen.....

thanks again for the soup recipe and pictures

on Nov 21, 2006
Now THIS is an article that SHOULD be on the front page, FEATURED, not some of the lame things that get chosen.....

No comment


I'm glad you like this kinds stuff. This is basicly the food I grew up on while living in MA.

If you like this, here is a salad I often eat with a lot of my "peasant food"