Pasta E Fagioli
Olivia Cavalli Williamson's Pasta E Fagioli
"There are so many variants of this dish but here’s a starting point. It’s a pasta and bean soup/ stew. You may not think it’s a looker (I think you’re wrong) but it’s one of my favourite things to eat at this time of year. Switch it up according to what you have to hand - chickpeas or cannellini instead of borlotti or, better yet, use beans that you’ve cooked yourself. Add a little pancetta to the soffritto or put a Parmesan rind in as it simmers. One thing not to change though – the final drizzle of your very best extra virgin olive oil. Vegan too, if you hold the cheese."
Olivia Cavalli Williamson
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced finely
1 carrot, diced finely
1 stick of celery, diced finely
2 sprigs rosemary
850ml stock, vegetable or meat
1 jar of white beans*
3 tbsp tomato purée
200g small pasta e.g. dittalini, elbow maccheroni or maltagliati
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium flame. Add the onion, carrot + celery, along with a good pinch of salt, + fry gently for 20 minutes or so, until soft + translucent.
Strip the rosemary from its stalks + chop the leaves finely, add these to the pan + fry for another few minutes. Pour in the stock + leave to simmer.
Drain the beans, reserving the liquid from the jar. Put the bean liquid (approx. 150ml) into a blender with roughly half of the beans.
Use a ladle to transfer about a third of the stock mixture from the pan to the blender too. Blend until smooth then pour this back into the pan with the rest of the stock.
Add the remaining beans + the tomato puree, stir + leave to simmer for around 20 minutes.
Taste + season well - you’ll be cooking the pasta directly into the soup so it must taste good. Bring to a moderate boil then add the pasta. Cook for around 8 minutes, until al dente, stirring every so often to make sure it isn’t sticking - add a splash of water if it looks like it needs it.
Remove from the heat + leave to sit for around 20 minutes or so to let the flavours mingle.
Serve drizzled with your best olive oil + some Parmesan.
*In the original recipe, Olivia uses 2 cans borlotti beans instead of one jar!
HUGE thanks to the legend that is Olivia Cavalli Williamson, who let us share this #beanspo on our website for all you champs to enjoy. The original recipe is on her instagram here.
Olivia is food writer, stylist + chef. Her Mum's family are from Emilia Romagna + her food is very much inspired by this.