Have you ever made Pasta Fazool? Pasta Fazool (also known as Pasta e Fagioli or even Pasta Fazol) is a tasty Italian soup made with beans, pasta and meat. Try this easy version of Pasta Fagioli soup using leftover or deli ham. It is made in under 45 minutes!
Say this with me. Pasta Faaaaaa Zooooool.
Now you know how to pronounce this soup dish. Easy, right? Well, so is this recipe.
We had plenty of leftover Easter ham. I sent my teenage son to the grocery store, and he came back with a 14-pound spiral ham for 3 people. I do think my growing boy ate one-quarter of it himself but there was still plenty of ham left.
After making Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches, I also wanted to make a few soups to keep in the freezer.
What is Pasta Fazool?
Pasta Fazool (also known as Pasta Fagioli or even Pasta Fazol) is a traditional hearty soup made from pasta and beans, and many versions contain some form of pork.
Every Italian family has their own version of this classic Italian dish. Some make it with ground beef or Italian sausage but but my family recipe always included ham.
Any leftover ham will do and although I prefer the flavor of a good spiral ham, chopped deli ham works also. I sear the ham, so it gets a little crispy like bacon. Some people will add bacon or pancetta to their recipe. You could get really ambitious and make the stock with a pork ham bone if you have one leftover.
This is a recipe that reminds me of my childhood because we ate it a lot. It is a hearty meal, comforting and inexpensive to make. Italians sometimes refer to it as a peasant dish but it really is a perfect meal. It is also one of my favorite meals on cold days but a great dish with ingredients that are included when you are grocery shopping on a budget.
- beans - I use canned and make sure to rinse and drain beans. You can use white beans or red beans depending on your preference. White cannellini beans or great northern beans and red kidney beans are all great choices.
- chopped ham - leftover or deli ham works great.
- chicken broth or stock - homemade is great but there are plenty of good store bought ones to choose from. You can also use vegetable broth, beef broth or low-sodium chicken broth if you are looking to control your salt intake.
- olive oil - I always keep a bottle in my pantry.
- vegetables - carrots and onions go in this soup but if you'd also like to add some leafy greens, you could use chopped fresh spinach or swiss chard.
- aromatics - to season the soup and give it lots of flavor, I use chopped garlic, dried Italian seasoning, tomato pasta, fresh parsley and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes in your pasta fagioli recipe if you like your soup spicy. A little bit goes a long way.
- pasta - Use any small variety of pasta like elbow macaroni, ditalini pasta, or small sized shells.
- Grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper- for serving and to taste. If you have some leftover Parmesan rinds, you can add this while cooking to add even more great flavor. Don't forget to remove the rink before serving the soup.
How to Make Pasta Fagioli
- Heat oil in a large pot or large Dutch oven.
- Add the leftover ham and cook until it begins to crisp.
- Add the onions, garlic and carrots and cook until they are fragrant and begin to get tender.
- Add broth, water, tomato sauce, beans, tomato paste, seasoning and vinegar and bring to a simmer.
- Add the dry pasta and cook until al dente - about 12 minutes. Garnish with parsley and fresh parmesan and serve.
Pasta Fazol Storage and Leftovers
This recipe, like many soup recipes, is great to make in advance. I prefer to make it the day before because it gets more flavorful the next day. I like to boil the pasta separately and add it right before serving. This keeps the pasta al dente instead of mushy.
Make sure to keep the soup in an airtight container in your fridge. It will keep well for 4 days.
If you would like to freeze Pasta Fagioli Soup, cook everything except the pasta, then add it when the soup is being reheated. If necessary, you can also add some extra water so that it is your desired thickness. You can freeze up to a month.
More Easy Soup Recipes:
- 10 Minute Wonton Soup Recipe
- Easy Egg Drop Soup with Orzo
- Hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup
- Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup
- Meatball Tortellini Soup via Food Fanatic
Pasta Fazool is easy to make, and it's so comforting on a cold or rainy day. Make a batch and freeze it so you can enjoy this soup anytime.
If you like this Pasta Fazol, please give it a 5-star rating below.
Pasta Fagioli Soup
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces chopped ham
- 2 carrots chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
- 1 can beans (white or kidney beans are both good) 15 ounces, rinsed and drained
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup dried small tube pasta such as ditalini or elbows
- 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley plus extra for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- In a large Dutch Oven or soup pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add ham and cook for a few minutes or until it starts to crisp. Add carrots, garlic and onion. Cook for another few minutes or until veggies start to brown.
- Add broth, water, tomato sauce, beans, tomato paste, seasoning and vinegar. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add pasta and cook for another 12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in the chopped parsley the last few minutes of cooking.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
First Published March 2015; Last Updated March 2021