Low-Fat Pasta e Fagioli


This classic Italian dish is brimming with low-fat, healthy ingredients.


  • 8 ounces dried great northern beans (1 ¼ cups)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 ribs celery, strings removed, cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped garlic (2 large cloves)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

  • 4 ounces orechiette pasta

  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato (about 6 ounces), peeled

  • 2 whole canned tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped

  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 ½ cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat

  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • ¼ cup fresh packed parsley leaves

  • 5 large fresh sage leaves

  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place beans in a small stockpot, cover with cold water, and let soak overnight. Drain beans; set aside. Dry stockpot.

  2. Melt butter in stockpot over medium-low heat. Add celery, onion, and 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic; saute until translucent. Add beans, 1 tablespoon rosemary, stock, potato, tomatoes, pepper, and 3 1/2 cups water. Raise heat to high; bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/4 hours. Fifteen minutes before soup is done, stir in salt.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a stock pot of cold, salted water to a boil over a high heat. Add pasta and cook until slightly underdone, 5 to 6 minutes; set aside. Pass soup through a food mill, holding back one-third of whole beans. Return soup and beans to the stockpot along with the pasta. Keep warm over low heat.

  4. Chop remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic and tablespoon rosemary with basil, parsley, and sage until finely minced. Stir into soup, and divide among six soup bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with 1 tablespoon Parmesan; serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

To reduce soaking time, place dried beans in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off, let the beans stand for one hour, and drain.

Related Articles