This soup is one of my absolute favorite Italian soups. It is effortless to make and the flavor is just… so delicious. It is just one of many perfect cold-weather meals.
I did a ton of research and searched tons of recipes to find the most authentic style of Pasta e Fagioli I could put together. The flavor of this soup is deep but also light at the same time. It gets its deep flavor from the anchovies, bacon, and parmesan cheese rind. The broth is light and full of delicious flavors from olive oil, herbs, tomatoes, and beans. It’s hearty and it will fill you up on a cold or rainy night. I hope I did this beautiful soup justice and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. This soup will be in rotation in our home, especially during the fall and winter months. Or anytime for that matter. It is just that good.
Let me share with you how to make it.
1 tbsp Italian olive oil ( I use Partanna organic extra virgin olive oil)
3 slices of bacon Or pancetta (both will work just fine) Diced small
1 onion – diced fine
1 stalk of celery – diced fine
4 cloves garlic – minced
1 tsp dried oregano
Red pepper flakes (to your heat preference)
2 anchovy filets ( or 2 tsp anchovy paste)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 rind of parmesan cheese ( or 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese)
2 cans of cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
6 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper – to taste
1 cup ditalini Or orzo pasta
Fresh parsley for topping
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping
- To a large soup pot add the oil and bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp.
- Add the onion and celery. Stir and cook until tender. About 5 minutes or so.
- Add the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and anchovy filets/paste. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, parm rind (or the 2 tbsp of grated parm), and beans. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low to low and add the pasta. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through.
- Remove from the heat and remove the parmesan cheese rind and discard it. Check the soup for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, parsley, and grated parmesan cheese. Serve.
- You can use any style of olive oil that you prefer or have on hand. Partanna is my favorite as well as the Terra Delyssa brand. I find that these have wonderful flavor and won’t break the bank. Italian food is known for its delicious olive oil flavor. It is a huge part of Italian cuisine. Plus real olive oil is good for you.
- I gave the option to use either ditalini pasta or orzo. At our local store, it is hit or miss with certain styles of pasta. So with either of these two styles of pasta, it should be easy to find and use.
- I also gave the option of the parmesan rind or grated parmesan in the soup. Traditionally you would use the rind. I use them all the time in soups to give extra flavor so I run out constantly. If you do not keep parmesan rinds in your freezer you can add the 2 tbsp of grated parmesan (not the stuff in the green bottle but if that is what you like then use it).
- If you do not like anchovies ( you will not taste them in the soup) you can always leave them out. That also goes for red pepper flakes. Always add pepper flakes, salt, or pepper to your taste. If you don’t like it then leave it out or don’t use a lot of that particular product.
- If your store does not carry or is out of cannellini beans, then you can use white beans. Just make sure to drain and rinse before using.
- This soup also works well with crushed tomatoes. So if you only have a can or two of crushed tomatoes, use it.
- In Italy, most dinner dishes are usually finished with a drizzle of olive oil. This gives the dish the final punch of flavor. Don’t skip this step. lol.
- If you want to see how I make this or any other of my dishes, you can always find me on YouTube or Instagram. The link is in the contact/donate or the social media accounts tab on my main page.