Situational Vegetarian – Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e fagioli is an easy recipe to make using your basic pantry ingredients that happens to be a vegetarian, and vegan, dish. If you are vegetarian, participating in Meatless Monday, or observing religious practices limiting your meat, shouldn’t mean that your meals are any less delicious.

In light of the recent Pantry Basics series, I wanted to show how to use those ingredients to make a vegetarian and vegan Italian comfort food dish.  Paste e fagioli is simply pasta and beans.  As is the case for so many Italian dishes, there are a myriad different ways to make it but at the very basic is a combination of vegetables, pasta, and beans for a filling dish.  It can be made with a lot of liquid, making it more of a soup, or it can be made with less liquid giving it a heartier appearance on a plate rather than a bowl.  Either way, a nice chunk of Italian bread would be a great accompaniment.

Paste e Fagiole




  1. Heat a pan (see Kitchen basics 102) over medium heat while you prepare your vegetables
  2. Add a tablespoon or two of the pure olive oil and let it reach a shimmer
  3. Add the crushed garlic cloves, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes or until fragrant
  4. Add the onions, stirring frequently, until getting translucent or about another 2 minutes
  5. Add the carrots, stirring frequently, and cook for another 2 minutes
  6. Add the tomatoes and stock, bring the pan to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes
  7. Add the pasta and cook simmering for another 10 minutes
  8. Add the cooked beans and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or until the beans are heated through. Optional step here is to add additional water or stock if you want the pasta e fagioli to be more soup like.
  9. Garnish with a handful of parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

img_6513This basic recipe can be changed in an almost endless variety of ways.  The use of zucchini and celery is common as is the soup version with three times as much stock.  Try it a few different ways and see which one you like the best! Here is the soup-like version!