Pasta Fazool

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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6 ounces pancetta, diced

1 small yellow onion, finely diced 

Kosher salt 

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

Olive oil, for drizzling 

1/4 cup dry white wine 

2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed 

Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 

One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes 

3/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta 

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces) 

1 cup roughly chopped or torn fresh basil 

Soppressata Sandwiches, for serving, recipe follows


  1. Cook the pancetta in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta to paper towels to drain, reserving the fat in the pot.
  2. Add the onion and some salt to the pot and cook until beginning to soften. Add the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and a couple pinches of salt to the pot and saute, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Mash the garlic with a drizzle of olive oil to form a paste. Add the garlic mixture and saute until fragrant, about 15 seconds. 
  3. Deglaze the pot with the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock, beans, tomatoes and up to 1 cup water to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. 
  4. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, about 30 seconds, keeping at least half of the beans intact (or puree in a regular blender, then return to the pot). Add a little more stock to thin out the soup.  
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 12 minutes.  
  6. Strain the past in a colander. In the pot with the soup, stir in the pancetta and half each of the parmesan and basil. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. 
  7. To serve, divide the pasta between the bowls and ladle some soup on top. Garnish with the remaining parmesan and basil. Finish with a crack of black pepper. 

Soppressata Sandwiches:

  1. Split open and quarter 1 baguette. Layer thick slices of sharp provolone and thinly sliced soppressata on the bread. Add some baby arugula and drizzle with sweet Italian vinaigrette.

Cook’s Note

When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.

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