Nothing beats a warm soup on a cold winter day, right? Well, if you're looking to have such a comforting meal, we got just the one for you - pasta fagioli soup!
This wonderful dish is very popular in Italian cuisine. The word fagioli refers to beans. Thus, we can conclude that the two main ingredients of this soup are pasta and beans.
Now, which kinds of beans and pasta are used, depends. But the usual ones are:
Plus, other ingredients may be added, too. These include olive oil, garlic, onions, spices, and (stewed) tomatoes.
Of course, this soup isn't only for winter evenings. In fact, we recommend it for any time that you're feeling hungry. Or if you're in the mood for a classic Italian supper.
That being said, keep reading below for some cool history facts, variations of the soup, and plenty more.
The exact origin of the pasta fagioli soup isn't known. However, we can trace its roots based on the ingredients.
During the times of the Roman Empire, there weren't many types of beans available. But the one that they did have was the black eye peas. And they got it from West Africa.
So, when did the beans we have today come around? Great question. And the answer to that is - when settlers discovered America.
See, America became a great source for importing beans. In fact, they were called American beans and included the borlotti and cannellini kind.
To be more specific, these goods made their way to Europe circa the 1530s.
In Italy, it was Pope Clement VII who brought them to the regions of Tuscany and Veneto. And in 1532, he told Pierio Valeriano to start planting them in his area. Valeriano gladly accepted the task, and he would grow the beans around Belluno.
As the beans became widespread, people began to use them as a regular cooking ingredient. This, of course, included the pasta fagioli soup.
Still, we have to mention that at first, they were solely available to the rich. And the poor people stuck to the black eye peas they already had. But, yes, over time, the American beans became common for everyone.
Pasta fagioli is such a beloved soup that it has even made its way into popular culture.
Two notable references include the songs "Pastafazoola" and "That's Amore." The former is by Van and Schenck. It was published in 1927 and has the following lyric:
Don't be a fool, eat pasta fazool
As for the latter, it is a song by Warren and Brooks that features the line:
When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that's amore
This one was made popular by Dean Martin who was a huge fan of the dish himself.
Given its ingredients, the pasta fagioli soup recipe may vary based on what's available.
Hence, different regions have their own take on the soup.
In some places, they make it with a broth base rather than tomatoes. Or they can add meat to the mix such as bacon or ground beef. The level of thickness can also vary.
And sometimes even the beans are substituted with chickpeas. This is the case in Rome where they call it pasta e ceci.
Another notable version is the Veneto one which comes with pork bone or meat. Also, in Bari, the soup is made thicker and features different forms of pasta as well as pancetta.
The number of pasta fagioli soup calories in a serving of 250 grams is around 225. This includes 4.5g of total fat or 7% of the daily value. The percentage is based on a 2000-calorie diet.
In addition, there are 5.5mg of cholesterol (2%), 295mg of sodium (12%), and 535mg of potassium (15%). Plus, we have 36g or 12% of total carbohydrates and 11g of protein.
As for vitamins and minerals, there are 12% of vitamin A, 26% of vitamin C, 9.5% of calcium, and 15% of iron.
Slice is the easiest way to find delicious food near you, and this definitely includes pasta fagioli soup.
And if you're in Philadelphia then we suggest Dolce Carini Pizza. You can find them on Chestnut St or order for pickup or delivery. What's great is you get 5% off for any online order via the Slice app!
Of course, for any other city, just check the listings on this page.