This soup is not very photogenic, but it is delicious, quick, and inexpensive. I combined a few different recipes to make it, since I have a very strict idea about what to put in pasta e fagioli: pasta. E fagioli. And then seasonings. Some of the recipes I saw added all different kinds of vegetables, and I have nothing against vegetables. I like lots of veggies in minestrone and other vegetable soups. But I think that pasta e fagioli should be as simple as possible. This also has the added bonus of making it a pantry meal.
One of the recipes I found while researching pasta e fagioli made it like a pasta dish. They cooked the pasta separately, and made the rest of the ingredients a tomato and bean sauce that was served on top the pasta. I thought that was an interesting take, but in the end I decided to stick with a soup presentation.
I left this soup on the stove for about 20 minutes and it got nice and thick, which is the way I wanted it. I cooked the pasta in the soup to make it thicker, but you could also cook the pasta separately and add it in at the end.
Pasta e Fagioli
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans
1 15 oz can tomato sauce, no salt (if you use salted, just add less salt later on)
2 c No-Chicken or vegetable broth
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1 c dry pasta (I used the traditional ditalini)
Rinse and drain the cannellini beans. Add half of them to a blender with 1 cup water and puree until smooth. Keep the other half whole.
Heat olive oil in a 4 qt soup or sauce pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and fry for about minute, until fragrant but not brown. Add tomato sauce, pureed beans, broth, and whole beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and Italian seasoning, taste, and correct seasoning.
Add the pasta and cook partially covered for 10-15 minutes, until the pasta is tender. If you would like the soup thicker, leave it uncovered and simmer for longer. If it gets too dry, add water.