Pasta e Fagioli is a classic Italian soup. This version is a twist on the classic. This simple brothy soup is made with the essentials: carrot, celery, onions, herbs, broth and tomato sauce. Sausage adds a depth of flavor. Great northern beans add some texture and ditalini is the finishing touch. Diced ham sets this recipe apart from your traditional Pasta e Fagioli. This soup is a must-make winter recipe and will warm you up in no time at all!
There are some dishes that just remind me of my childhood. Roast beef and chicken dumplings are just 2 of many. Pasta e Fagioli is another one of those recipes. My mom used to make this soup ALL the time growing up. She had her own special twist on it, and now anytime I have Pasta e Fagioli at a restaurant I compare it to her recipe. It never stands up to what I grew up with.
This recipe is a twist on the classic and also a twist on my mom’s recipe. My mom’s recipe never had sausage in it. It was a tomato-based, brothy soup, with no chunks of tomatoes. It always had ditalini in it and ALWAYS had diced ham. When I think of Pasta e Fagioli, I think of it made this way.
My version is a little bit different. I still use ham like my mom always did. I don’t use chunks of tomatoes, and I always incorporate sweet Italian sausage. The herbs I use are normally dried, and I always finish the soup with fresh parsley. This is a recipe that Zach and I have come to adore. We eat it all winter long, and with each bite, it takes me straight back to my childhood.
I hope you guys enjoy the recipe! Pair it with a farmhouse ale. A farmhouse ale will really highlight the veggies and tomato sauce. Enjoy!
8 ounces fully-cooked ham steak, cut into half inch cubes
1 tablespoon dry thyme
1 tablespoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more to taste)
6 cups chicken broth
14 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
20 ounces canned great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 pound dry ditalini pasta
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
To a large stock pot, add the Italian sausage. Cook over medium heat, until brown and cooked through. Transfer the sausage to a plate, and leave the pan over medium heat.
To the pan, add canola oil if there isn't enough fat left over from the sausage. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook until the veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ham and stir. Cook for 1 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the thyme, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, chicken broth, tomato sauce and granulated sugar. Season again with salt and black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, cook your ditalini pasta per manufacturer's instructions. Drain and set aside.
When the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, stir in the beans, pasta, parsley, and sausage. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season again with salt and black pepper if needed.
Serve the soup immediately with grated parmesan cheese and additional fresh parsley. Enjoy!