Quick Pasta e Fagioli ~ The classic and iconic Italian soup dish that means pasta and beans; the only two ingredients common to the countless versions, ready in 30 minutes.Once upon a time, many moons ago, I was lunching at a well-known Italian restaurant with friends. I wanted their soup, salad, and breadsticks. My server went through the list of soups and after listing pasta e fagioli, I asked what it was. The reply I got was ‘think chili, but Italian style with some pasta.’ I was game, so I ordered it.
When it was served, it was thick and hearty looking, beef, beans, mirepoix, in a thick broth and not too far off a dish my grandma called pasta fazool. Turns out pasta e fagioli and pasta fazool are the same thing. I grew up with fazool, so e fagioli was foreign to me.
While the restaurants’ soup was tasty, it had nothing on my grandma’s (as is ALWAYS the case.) My quick pasta e fagioli bests the restaurant’s, but it too, is not my grandma’s. I don’t have her recipe; I’m going to have to get in touch with some family members and see what I can dig up. When I do find it or something near it, I’ll be sure to call it fazool.While this quick pasta e fagioli isn’t my grandma’s, as I was more aiming towards mimicking the restaurant version, it is dang good. So good, I’ve made it twice in one week good and I know my grandma would enjoy it. Soaking my own beans, making my own sauce, sweating and slow simmering the veggies is the traditional way of making this soup, but during the week, I don’t always have that kind of time.
Lack of time wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying this hearty and tasty dish. Normally, all the ingredients would be found in my pantry, fridge, and freezer, but it was time to restock the staples. While running to the market to get all the household necessities and as an ambassador for Ragu, I picked up a few more jars of their Homestyle Thick and Hearty Traditional Sauce, which was one of the ways I was going to save myself some time. Using canned beans was the other.
Ragu has been around for as long as I can remember. When kitchen duties were turned over to me when I was 11 years old, Ragu was the jar I opened for spaghetti night. As my skills in the kitchen grew, I learned to make sauce from scratch. My grandma’s recipe for red sauce is the ultimate in comfort food for me. But when I need to save time, I am not opposed to convenience as long as my own standards are met. Ragu has no artificial flavors, artificial colors, or high fructose corn syrup. Plus they peel, chop, and simmer fresh ingredients and use a special blend of herbs (basil, fennel, oregano and black pepper) to layer and build the bold flavor in each jar.
Wanting to make a quick pasta e fagioli, I knew I could count on Ragu to give me the flavor and freshness, along with convenience I needed to be successful.
Quick Pasta e Fagioli
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- Salt/Pepper; to taste
- 2 cloves garlic; minced/grated
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (~1/2 medium)
- 1 cup chopped celery (~3 ribs)
- 1 cup chopped carrots (~3 medium)
- 1-1 1/2 cup small pasta (macaroni, elbow, ditalini, shell)
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1-23 oz jar Ragu Homestyle Thick and Hearty Traditional Sauce
- 1-15 oz can white beans; drained and rinsed (Great Northern, Cannellini)
- 1-15 oz can dark red kidney beans; drained and rinsed
- 3 tbsp chopped Italian parsley (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a large pot, brown the ground beef over medium high heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the garlic.
Cook until done, drain and reserve the meat in another bowl; set aside.
Heat the pot over medium high heat, add the oil and chopped vegetables.
Stirring frequently, cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften.
Add the pasta, mix well.
Add the water and broth, stir well, taking care to pull up any stuck on bits at the bottom of the pan.
Add the Ragu, stirring well to fully incorporate the sauce.
Bring to a boil and stir frequently, reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 11-15 minutes, or until the pasta has cooked.
Once the pasta has cooked, fold in the beef and both beans; allow to warm through, about 2 minutes.
Portion and garnish with parsley and parmesan.
Serve and enjoy.
I love fresh from scratch cooking, but when I’m in a hurry, using Ragu Homestyle Sauces provide the nutrition my family needs along with that homestyle flavor I crave. Slow Cocker Ratatouille Pasta and Baked Pasta with Pork and Mushrooms are two of my more recent recipes using Ragu Homestyle. But should you want creamy, my Crispy Prosciutto and Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo will hit the spot. Get creative, what’s your own spin on a pasta recipe using Ragu Homestyle Sauces? Need inspiration? Click here.