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all the ingredient for the dish on the table
  • mains

Pasta e fagioli

For those cold Spring days that are still with us you need a dish that can warm you body and soul.

Pasta e Fagioli, a classic of simple Italian country cooking, is one of my favourite cold weather dishes, especially if you can get fresh borlotti beans. The rich, full flavour of the combination of pasta and beans, mixed vegetables , pancetta and pork sausage is both filling and heart-warming. It is a one-pot dish and makes a substantial meal. If you prefer a vegetarian version just leave out the sausage and pancetta.

  • Ingredients
  • for 8 people
  • 500 gr fresh borlotti beans(or 250 dry ones soaked over night)
  • 4 young leeks sliced
  • 5 baby carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 celery stick, sliced
  • 150 gr fresh baby spinach
  • 1 small bunch cavolo nero, the tough stalks removed
  • 1/2 fennel, diced
  • 2 young turnips, diced
  • 2 tins pelati
  • 5 good quality pork sausage cut into pieces
  • 4 rashes of pancetta chopped
  • fresh sage, bay leaf, basilico and chilli
  • 1/2glass of red wine
  • 1 litre good veal or chicken stock
  • 500 gr shell pasta or any short pasta
  • grated parmigiano to serve
  1. in a little butter and oil gently fry the leeks until tender and sweet

    sliced leeks in fry pan
  2. add the pancetta and cook for a few minutes

  3. now add the carrots, celery, parsnips, fennel, fresh herbs and chilly and cook, stirring for 10 minutes

  4. add the sausage and let it take colour, then pour in the wine

    sausage cooking with the vegetables
  5. now the borlotti beans, cavolo nero, pelati and cook stirring occasionally until beans are just tender

    a bowl with fresh borlotti beans
  6. add the pasta, if necessary add more stock and cook until 'al dente'

  7. in the last 5 minutes add the spinach

    pasta e fagioli served in a bowl
  8. serve with freshly grated parmiggiano

    bowl with pasta and fagioli and fresh parmiggiano on top
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