Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Pasta and beans
( Pasta e fagioli )

Traditional recipe

Pasta and beans is definitely a traditional Italian recipe but how many versions are there? I know the Venetian, Neapolitan version, the version of my friends, my grandmothers ... in short, every family has its own! So, here, I tell you my own recipe with fresh beans and some suggestions to make it with canned beans for any of you who does not have time or does not want to cook too long. Vegetarian, very healthy, easy recipe of the Mediterranean diet.

difficulty: easy

time: 1 hour

calories: 551 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 2

  • 400g (14 ounces) pinto beans in the pod
  • 250g (8.8 ounces) ripe tomatoes
  • 80g (2.8 ounces) fresh, young onions
  • 170g (6 ounces) whole wheat pasta (ditalini)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 or more hot peppers
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 20 minutes
cooking: 40 minutes
total: 1 hour
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 551 (kcal) 28 % - 2305 (kJ)
Protein: 21.6 (g) 44 % GDA
Total fat: 12.3 (g) 18 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 98.4 (g) 37 % GDA
Sugars: 12.4 (g) 14 % GDA

Download free PDF version (143 download).

Pasta and beans recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - First step: prepare beans.
    Shell them. Wash quickly and transfer them into a pot, together with bay leaf. Cover with abundant cold water.
    Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking until beans are tender.
    Their cooking time is variable. 15 to 25 minutes can be required since the beginning of the boil.
    Remove all beans from the water. I generally use a slotted spoon. Do not throw away the cooking water but remove the bay leaf.
    Puree the third part with a few tablespoons of cooking water.
  • - Second and last step.
    While beans are cooking, chop onions and clean tomatoes.
    Peel tomatoes, remove their seeds and cube their pulp.
    Put two teaspoons olive oil, hot peppers and onion in a pot.
    Let all fry slightly on very low heat. Stir frequently.
    Add tomato pulp and let it flavor, stirring frequently, some minutes.
    Pour in the cooking water of beans and bring to a boil. It's difficult to say what's the right quantity. It depends on your own taste. Do you prefer pasta and beans more or less liquid? With experience, you will find the right solution for your family. You'll probably have to add other water to it.
    Season to taste with salt.
    Add pasta and pureed beans too. If you use good-quality pasta, cooking time is at least 10 minutes.
    Add the other beans a couple of minutes before turning off the stove.

Just before serving

  • - Once turned off the stove, add the remaining olive oil and chives.
    Stir with delicacy and add other salt, if necessary.
  • - You can serve pasta and beans after few minutes but it tastes fantastic at room temperature too.
    Put on the table a bowl full of Parmigiano or Grana Padano. Everyone will be able to serve himself according to his own taste.



  • - Recipe with canned beans. Sometimes, I too prepare pasta and beans with canned beans.
    In this case I remove the preserving liquid and rinse beans directly in their can, twice. Then I drain them well. I use 1 400g (14 ounces) per 2 people.
    I puree the third part.
    I fry slightly the onion, hot peppers and bay leaf in 2 teaspoons olive oil.
    If I have no fresh tomatoes, I use some tablespoons canned tomato pulp.
    I add boiling water enough to cook pasta. I bring to a boil, season to taste with salt and add pasta and pureed beans. I reduce heat and continue cooking according to the time on the package.
    I add the remaining beans a minute before turning off the stove.
    I add the remaining olive oil and chives only once I turned off the stove.
  • - Add a garlic clove to onions if you want!
  • - To meat lovers: add pancetta to onions! But calories, fat and proteins increase a lot and it is not healthy to use two sources of proteins in the same dish.
  • - Sometimes, I prepare pasta and beans with the leftovers of egg pasta when I make it at home. Fantastic! The link to homemade egg pasta recipe below!
  • - Sometimes, I make a healthier recipe and I do not fry onions in olive oil.
    Halfway through the cooking of fresh beans, I add the chopped onion and tomato, hot peppers and pasta.
    I add olive oil and chives and season to taste with salt once turned off the stove. Who loves the taste of olive oil, likes it definitely more.
  • - Often in the summer when there is plenty of fresh beans, I freeze them in portions ready for my dishes. I shell and wash them quickly, dip them in boiling water for one minute (I count the time when the water starts boiling again). I let them cool and transfer them in the proper bags for the freezer. I close out the air. I use them all winter. To use frozen beans, I dip them in boiling water still frozen and use them as fresh beans.

Menu planning

  • - You can make pasta and beans all year round with canned or frozen beans and in the summer and early autumn with fresh beans.
  • - Pasta and beans is a perfect choice for your family menu at lunch thanks to the richness of carboyhdrates.
  • - Seen its calories, you can complete your menu with fresh seasonal fruit.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - The combination of whole wheat pasta and legumes is perfect from a nutritional standpoint. Beans are a good source of protein and high in fiber. Even the whole wheat pasta gives us several fibers and plenty of fiber balances simple sugars. Pasta and beans with these doses makes us introduce almost half of recommended daily fiber (30 grams). You could use emmer pasta too.
    If you use whole wheat pasta, always prefer orgnic versions otherwise you could introduce a greater amount of pesticides than the semolina pasta.
  • - Fiber per serving: 13.6 grams


What's the right wine for " Pasta and beans "?

My husband and I prefer rosé or white wine, especially bubbles. Sometimes, we match non tannic, red wine.