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Hearty Tortellini Pasta e Fagioli

[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

This is a quick riff on my childhood New York Italian restaurant favorite: Pasta e Fagioli, a thick tomatoey soup stuffed with white beans, pasta, and a smattering of pancetta.

This version is both easy and different. I begin with a bit of olive oil and some chopped carrots, onions, and celery, to add vegetal crunch to the soup. But, you can omit this without sacrificing flavor if you want to make this soup even quicker. Add storebought marinara sauce and vegetable or chicken broth, bring to a boil and add in the creamy canned cannellini beans.

Finally, my special ingredient: baby tortellini stuffed with either pancetta or prosciutto. It adds that smoky hammy saltiness to the soup, and that hearty stew-like texture. In the end, if I have them on hand, I stir in some parmesan or sliced prosciutto. At its barest bones, this soup is four-ingredient, five-minute dinner redolent of backroom New York Italian.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.

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