Spinach pasta fagioli in two ways

Today, I will show you two ways to prepare this delicious spinach pasta fagioli – by using dry beans and another, simpler way, using canned ones.
Which version will you choose?

Traditionally , pasta fagioli is a thick, mushy soup, full of all sorts of pasta, beans, pancetta and Parmesan rind.
I admit that at first glance, it doesn’t look very inviting, but there is something special about this dish. Some kind of comfort, like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a rainy afternoon.
Today’s recipe is not a classic pasta fagioli recipe, but only inspired by it. It does not contain bacon or Parmesan cheese. However, just like the original, it’s very filling, comforting and easy to prepare.

vegan pasta fagioli

What will you need to prepare spinach pasta fagioli?

This dish does not require many ingredients.
As a base, I used the classic soffritto – sauteed, finely chopped onion, carrot and celery. Italians start practically every dish with soffritto and they know what they are doing! It gives a better, deeper flavor.
You will also need canned tomatoes [ in the summer, you can use fresh, peeled, ripe tomatoes ], garlic, a little oregano, broth or water, and of course beans [ I used white, because I like them the most ] and pasta.
In the recipe I used large shells [ mainly due to the aesthetics of the photo ], but any pasta, including the gluten-free one, will be perfect.
To prepare my spinach pasta fagioli I used canned beans. This shortens the preparation time to 30 minutes, and the dish itself is much lighter than the traditional version.
You can also make it using dry beans. This method will take much longer, but it will resemble the original pasta fagioli recipe.
Just remember to soak the beans the day before!
white beans
Photo by Łukasz Rawa

How to prepare pasta fagioli using dry beans?

Ingredients
time: 2 hours    servings: 4
1½ cups dry beans
5 ounces dry pasta
6 cups water
1 tbsp of olive oil, plus more for serving, optional
4 carrots, halved crosswise
4 celery stalks, halved crosswise
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
can of tomatoes
2 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste
Preparation
  • Bring soaked beans, 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 2 garlic cloves, bay leaves and water to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer [ adding more water if needed ], until beans are tender, about 1½ hours. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Discard vegetables and bay leaf.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a separate pot or pan. Saute finely chopped onion, carrot, celery stalk and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Add tomatoes and oregano, season with salt and pepper and cook on low heat, until liquid is almost completely reduced, it will take about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer tomatoes to the cooked beans and their broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add pasta and cook until tender and al dente, about 15 minutes.
  • I like to add separately cooked pasta, because beans release their starch into the broth while cooking, making it more dense. Cooking pasta in the same pot will make the broth even thicker. But if you like very thick dishes, you can now put dry pasta into the bean pot [ you may need to add some extra boiling water ]
  • Add the spinach leaves and cook for another minute or two stirring until wilted
  • Sprinkle with chili flakes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving

  • vegan pasta fagioli

    How to prepare pasta fagioli using canned or previously cooked beans?

    Ingredients
    time: 30 minutes    servings: 4
    1½ cups dry beans
    5 ounces dry pasta
    6 cups of vegetable broth or water
    1 tbsp of olive oil, plus more for serving, optional
    1 carrot, finely chopped
    1 celery stalk, finely chopped
    1 tsp dried oregano
    can of tomatoes
    1 onion, finely chopped
    1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
    2 cups fresh spinach
    salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste
    Preparation
  • Heat olive oil in a medium size pot. Saute finely chopped onion, carrot, celery stalk and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Add tomatoes and oregano, season with salt and pepper and cook on low heat, until liquid is almost completely reduced, it will take about 15 minutes.
  • Add broth or water and season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil
  • Add canned beans and dry pasta and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until pasta is tender and al dente
    Same as in the version above, you can also add previously cooked pasta [ if you want to use the leftovers or prefer less thick soups ]. In this case, after adding the beans to the tomato with broth, cook them together for 15 minutes and only then add the pasta and spinach to the pan. The pasta will heat up while the spinach loses its volume.
  • Add the spinach leaves and cook for another minute or two stirring until wilted
  • Sprinkle with chili flakes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving

  • Spinach pasta fagioli

    How to store leftovers?

    Store in a refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days. If you plan on making more pasta fagioli, better keep the pasta separate and add it to the reheated soup just before serving. Otherwise it may get too soft in the soup.
    You can also freeze the soup without pasta for up to a month.


    Nutritional value | ¼ of spinach pasta fagioli
    260 kcal | Carbohydrates 40.2 g | Protein 12.7 g | Fat 3.5 g | Fiber 8.5 g

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @vitobites on Instagram and hashtag it #vitobites.
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    Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
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