Ditalini pasta is commonly used for pasta e fagioli, but you can use any short pasta—or you can break up vermicelli into small bits.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock for vegetarian option
- 1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 1/2 pound ditalini pasta
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini or borlotti beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 1/2 cups of freshly cooked beans*)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Salt and black pepper to taste
* To cook the beans from scratch, start with 1 3/4 cups dry beans. Either soak them overnight in water, or cover them with boiling water and let them sit for an hour, then drain. Place the soaked beans in a pot, cover with two inches of water, bring to a simmer, and cook until tender, about an hour.
1 Sauté onions, carrots, celery, garlic: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, carrot and celery for 2-3 minutes, until its soft and translucent. Add the garlic, chile flakes and Italian seasoning and sauté another minute.
2 Add stock, tomatoes, pasta: Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and keep the soup at a strong simmer.
3 Add beans, parsley: When the pasta is al dente, add the beans and cook another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley. Add salt and black pepper to taste.