Pasta e fagioli is a hearty Italian soup. The name literally means “pasta and beans”.

Yield: Serves 5



  • 1 cup dried white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 tsp basil, crumbled
  • 1 tsp oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram, crumbled
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups no-salt-added chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup small shell pasta or macaroni
  • 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil*
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place beans in a large non-reactive bowl. Pour cold water over beans. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain beans and set aside.
  3. Sauté pancetta in a 6 quart pressure cooker over medium heat until browned and crisp. Add onion, carrot, celery, basil, oregano, marjoram, garlic and bay leaf; sauté until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add wine and cook, stirring, until wine is almost evaporated. Add soaked beans and broth; stir to combine. Cover with lid and lock it in place. Bring to high pressure over high heat.
  5. Cook for 17 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
  6. Carefully remove from heat and allow steam to release naturally. This may take 10 - 15 minutes.
  7. Wearing oven mitts, carefully open lid away from yourself to protect from steam. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  8. Reduce heat and stir in pasta. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans and pasta are tender. Stir in fresh basil, pepper and salt. Remove from heat; remove and discard bay leaf.
  9. Serve drizzled with oil and topped with Parmesan cheese. As the pasta absorbs liquid, this soup is best served immediately.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

413 calories, 12.3 g fat, 25.4 g protein, 50.7 g carbohydrate, 12.9 g fibre, 1048 mg sodium

*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis


White kidney beans are also known as cannellini beans. Look for dried white kidney beans in specialty food stores. Dried red and white kidney beans contain naturally occurring plant proteins called lectins. It is important to fully cook all dried kidney beans as lectins are toxic and can cause sickness.

A pressure cooker is a pot with a special locking lid that allows foods to be cooked quickly at a high temperature under steam pressure. It is ideal for cooking soups, stews and tougher cuts of meat. Look for pressure cookers in department stores and specialty kitchen stores.

Most pressure cookers are designed to be used on the stove-top. As pressure cookers vary, always use them according to the manufacturer's instructions.