Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Pasta and bean soup
( Sagne con fagioli )

Traditional recipe

Pasta and bean soup is a typical recipe from the centre of Italy: Abruzzo and Lazio. This pasta (called sagne) is made with homemade dough without eggs. Dough is cut in different ways and this pasta is dressed in vary different ways too. The well known recipes are "pasta and beans" and "pasta and chick peas". I show you my personal version of "sagne and beans" as I learnt it from my grandmother who lived in Abruzzo. She cooked beans and pasta in different waters and did not saute onion in olive oil so her recipe was more digestible ;))

difficulty: medium

time: preparation: 20 minutes
plus the time for the dough
Cooking: more than an hour
total: 1 hour 30 minutes

calories: 540 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • For the dough
  • 400g (14 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • Water at room temperature
  • Salt
  • For pasta sauce
  • 700g (1 1/2 pound) fresh beans in their pod
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounce) fresh onion, finely chopped
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons dried chives
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) ripe but firm tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspon extra virgin olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt
  • 1 dried red chili pepper
medium difficulty
preparation: 20 minutes
plus the time for the dough
Cooking: more than an hour
total: 1 hour 30 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 540 (kcal) 27 % - 2261 (kJ)
Protein: 20.9 (g) 42 % GDA
Total fat: 9.0 (g) 13 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 100.2 (g) 38 % GDA
Sugars: 5.0 (g) 6 % GDA

Download free PDF version (169 download).

Recipe for pasta and bean soup

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare pasta dough.
    Pour all-purpose flour on a working surface and form a well in its center.
    Add 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt in the well, gather flour into the center but be careful water does not escape.
    Work together until smooth and homogenous dough, adding other water if necessary.
    You might need to add a little flour if your dough is too moist, or a little water if it is too dry.
    Wrap in a cloth and let it rest, about 20 to 25 minutes.
    Roll your pasta dough out on a lightly floured surface ... not too thin.
    Dust with semolina.
    Fold pasta dough over itself.
    Cut into 2cm - 4/5in wide pieces, making long strands.
    Cut every strand in other pieces obliquely.
    For more details look at the photo and its enlargement.
    Place pasta pieces in trays sprinkled with semolina.
    Dust again with semolina to prevent them from sticking.
    Let your pasta dry in a cold place.
  • - Meanwhile ...
    ... prepare pasta sauce.
    Shell beans.
    Put them in a pan, cover with 2 litres of water at room temperature and add onion, bay leaf, tomatoes, tomato paste and red chili pepper.
    Bring to the boil, lower the flame and continue cooking, half-covered, stirring now and then until beans are soft, 40 to 45 minutes or more.
    Put aside some boiling water and add if necessary.
    Beans must be always covered with hot water and, besides, your sauce must be soupy at the end.
    When beans are cooked, purée the third part and add to pasta sauce.
    At this point season to taste wih salt, add chives and olive oil.
    Stir accurately.
  • - Cook pasta in salted, boiling water to "al dente" stage.
    Fresh pasta cooks quickly (2 to 5 minutes) but be careful because cooking time depends on many factors.

Just before serving

  • - Drain pasta and transfer to bean sauce in the pan.
    Stir with delicacy.
    Your pasta and beans is ready to serve.



  • - Use also dried beans (150g - 5 1/3 ounces) instead of fresh ones.
  • - You can serve it not only in cold seasons. I make it in summer too: it is excellent served warm or cold!
  • - Cooking beans, you may add other ingredients such as carrots, celery, parsley and, obviously, garlic.
  • - Use canned peeled tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes in winter.
  • - A lot of people add ham bone or pork rinds to bean sauce. But I'm careful on the amount of fat. Nowadays you can not think of eating as our parents had the habit to do. We do little physical activity. But my version is great, be sure! You have to consider what to do!

Menu planning

  • - My version of pasta and beans is a vegetarian recipe, suitable for all seasons.
  • - It's a typical Italian one-plate meal for your family menu.
    Complete your meal with a green salad and seasonal fresh fruit.

Healthy eating

  • - Pasta and beans is a great dish of the Mediterranean tradition. The combination of pasta and pulses is perfect because legumes provide protein and pasta the energy of carbohydrates. Obviously, you can not combine it with other dishes, otherwise calories explode!


What's the right wine for " Pasta and bean soup "?

Pomino Rosso (red wine from Tuscany) or Bardolino (red wine from Veneto) are the best pairing for pasta and beans according to my husband and me.