Pasta with Stewed Beans (Pasta con i Fagioli Stufati)

When I started this blog I intended to share all my interesting experiences with cooking, and I’ve hold up to that intention. On some weekends I do so much cooking that I gather material for 5 to 10 posts in a single weekend. I’ve been cooking so much lately that I have about 20 posts worth of photos sitting on my hard drive, waiting to be published. So even on days like today when I didn’t cook anything interesting because I came home late from work, I browse through the photos to choose what to blog about.

After some posts about Tex-Mex and fancy stuff like sous-vide rose fish, it is time to go back to my culinary roots and post a recipe for a homey Italian pasta dish. Comfort food that is simple to prepare, cheap, loaded with flavor, and perfect for a cold autumn or winter day. This is one of those recipes that I had not tried before from my first cookery book by Biba Caggiano that got me started on Italian cooking. I probably never tried this before because beans are not really my favorite food. According to Biba this is a very old country dish. It sure has a lot of flavor, and although it still doesn’t make me fond of beans it was pretty good 🙂

As I made this on an evening after coming home from work, I pressure cooked the beans to cut down the cooking time from an hour to just 12 minutes. The beans are then briefly stewed with tomatoes, vegetables, herbs, and a bit of pancetta (that you could leave out if you’d want to keep this vegetarian).


For 2 servings

150 grams (.33 lb) spaghetti

80 grams (1/2 cup) dried kidney beans, soaked overnight in water

240 ml (1 cup) canned tomatoes, pureed in the food processor

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp minced onion

4 Tbsp minced carrot

2 Tbsp minced celery stalk

25 grams (1 oz) pancetta, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 fresh sage leaves, minced

60 ml (1/4 cup) homemade chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

4 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano


Put the beans in the pressure cooker with 120 ml (1/2 cup) of water. Pressure cook for 12 minutes (13-15 psi).

Meanwhile, clean and chop the onion, celery, carrot, sage, garlic, and pancetta.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the carrot, onion, pancetta, garlic, sage, and celery. Sauté gently for a few minutes.

When the beans are cooked, depressurize the pan with cold water.

Drain the beans.

Add the beans, pureed tomatoes, and chicken stock to the frying pan and season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened somewhat. Add the parsley.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti al dente in boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce together with 3 Tbsp of the parmigiano.

Toss to mix.

Yes, I took the photo before garnishing with parmigiano. It allows you to see the beans and spaghetti more clearly 😉

Serve on warm plates, sprinkled with the remaining parmigiano.

19 thoughts on “Pasta with Stewed Beans (Pasta con i Fagioli Stufati)

  1. I am truly envious of the raft of material you seem to always have in store. I go through a brief period of self induced smugness followed by panic. At present, I have a few lined up and am feeling smug…
    Nice pasta and beans too!


    1. My mission to post ALL the interesting cooking that I do together with all the cooking that I do generates all the material. It does mean that I can’t make the posts as well written or good looking as yours…


    1. I was pleasantly surprised to see it as a stand alone pasta dish as I am used to seeing it as soup. However, the beans did not surprise me since fagioli = beans.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks delicious. I adore beans but I would be more inclined to have this dish with rice or nachos.

    There are many ingredients that are universally adored (bacon, cheese, chocolate) but I think what is interesting are those items that are uniquely disliked. What do you dislike about beans? Is it a flavour or a texture thing?


  3. Just the other day I was wondering if pasta and beans would go together in a nice dish. You just answered my question… and coincidentally enough, today we were just talking about simplicity 🙂 nice post!


  4. I happen to love beans both as a foodie and a nutritionist. Tend to use cannelini most of all, but happened to put some red kidney ones into an oxtail braise being enjoyed for the second day today [actually like curry it was better!]. Have never thought of this way and methinks it would greatly suit as ‘soulfood’ 🙂 !


  5. I love pasta with beans, Stefan, and this sounds like a great dish. I must admit to being surprised that Biba would use kidney beans here, though. I would have expected borlotti or cannellini beans to be used.


  6. Hello!In my “regione” we use often “fagioli borlotti”. We’ve also a specialty here in Piacenza with borlotti and fresh handmade pasta that we call “pisarei”. I’ll search the recipe and i’ll post it on my blog maybe, it’s a poor dish but really tasty!


  7. I’m not crazy about beans either. However, lately I have been more inclined to appreciate pasta e fagioli. We usually eat the “soup” version. I have never seen your version. I have to give your recipe a try. It’s easy, quick, looks yummy and there is pancetta in it. What’s not to like?


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