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Pasta e Fagioli with Escarole


Parmesan rind and a kitchen sink’s worth of aromatics give heady flavor to this classic pasta fagioli recipe with beans and pasta.



cups dried cannellini (white kidney) beans, soaked overnight


Parmesan rind (about 2 ounces), plus shaved Parmesan for serving


medium carrots, scrubbed, halved crosswise


celery stalks, halved crosswise


head of garlic, halved crosswise; plus 2 cloves, chopped


sprigs parsley


sprig rosemary


bay leaves


dried chiles de árbol or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more crushed for serving

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper


tablespoons olive oil, plus more


large onion, chopped


14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes


cup dry white wine


ounces dried lasagna or other flat pasta, broken into 1–1½-inch pieces


small head of escarole, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces


Step 1

Bring beans, Parmesan rind, carrots, celery, head of garlic, parsley, rosemary, bay leaves, chiles, and 2 quarts water to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, adding more water as needed, until beans are tender, about 1½ hours. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and let sit 30 minutes. Discard vegetables, rind, and herbs.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium. Cook onion and chopped garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8–10 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is almost completely reduced, 12–15 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add beans and their liquid; cook until flavors meld, 12–15 minutes. Add pasta; cook, stirring and adding more water as needed, until al dente, 15–20 minutes. Add escarole and cook until wilted, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper. Serve soup drizzled with oil and topped with Parmesan and more chile.

Reviews (12)

  • So I soaked some white navy beans overnight to make BBQ baked beans but had more beans then I wanted so I ended up cooking the extra very similarly to the beginning of this recipe. I was looking for something to make with these extra beans. I knew I had to make this when I found it. I had 3 cups of bean broth that I seasoned with garlic, parsley, rosemary, bayleaf, chicken fat, and olive oil, along with about 2 cups of beans. I added in 3 cups of veggie stock and a parmesan rind. Step one complete already with the stuff I had premade! I made a little mirepoix, added the tomatoes and wine, let it reduce, and just added it to the stock mixture. It tasted a little acidic so I helped it out with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cooked the pasta in the pot and tossed in escarole right before serving. It was bomb! I am so happy I found this recipe AND I tried escarole for the first time. Escarole tastes like a slightly bitter romaine, but it holds up in the soup well.


    • TEXAS

    • 2/3/2021

  • This is SO delicious! I took a page out of my mom's book and pureed some of the veg to add back into the broth. Really tasty!

    • M_FELDMAN1


    • 4/27/2020

  • "Carla Lalli Music has outdone herself with this one. Extraordinary. Nothing left to say. ANONYMOUS TUCSON, AZ09/28/18" The recipe is by Chris Morocco, not Carla.



    • 1/25/2020

  • This was so tasty. I did not soak my beans overnight, just started them with the vegetables and the water. When they were al dente I turned off the heat. Before cooking the onions I cooked up some diced pancetta, then added the onions once they were just starting to crisp up. I removed the bay leaves and parsley from the bean broth, left all the veggies, then added the tomato mixture to it. Then the escarole. I cooked the pasta separately. It was perfect. Will definitely make it again, and again!


    • ST. PAUL

    • 12/13/2019

  • This is an amazing dish! I put the dried beans/water/aromatics in my slow cooker during the day, and it greatly streamlined the process. I highly recommend using dried beans, as they soak up all the wonderful flavours of the parmesan rind, garlic, carrots, celery, etc. The cooking liquid adds SO much flavour to the end result broth. I didn't have escarole, so I used rapini, which worked great. Sooooo delicious!!!!


    • CANADA

    • 3/16/2019

  • This was really good! I wanted to use dried beans but did not have time to soak overnight so I used my instapot. (cannellini should take 40 min-mine took 60 but were perfect!) I followed directions to the letter but wrapped the garlic in cheesecloth so it was easier to fish out at the end. I did not have time to let the mixture sit for 30 min after cooking so just put beans and broth in with tomatoes and onion right when finished. I added some chopped fresh thyme as well. I also substituted in kale. I thought this turned out great! Was trying to keep it vegetarian but adding sausage sounds wonderful.


    • 3/7/2019

  • This was exceptional. Only changes I made were based on what I had lurking (or not lurking) in the fridge - no escarole; added some crumbled italian sausage to the tomato sauce and sprig of thyme in the stock. Otherwise followed the instructions to the letter and was well rewarded for my efforts.



    • 2/5/2019

  • This was great. I made a few additions and substitutions that worked really well to make this a full meal. For the stock I used chicken broth for half of the volume. I also added in a 1.5 pound uncured ham shank to the stock and chopped the lean meat and added it back at the end. I also used ditalini instead of lasagne noodles. Finally, I added chopped carrot and celery when the onion and garlic were almost done sautéing.



    • 1/20/2019

  • Excellent recipe! I plan to make the soup again for the second time this week. Even my picky 4 year old gobbled this up.



    • 10/12/2018

  • Carla Lalli Music has outdone herself with this one. Extraordinary. Nothing left to say.


    • TUCSON, AZ

    • 9/29/2018

  • I made this for a dinner party with many guests. It was absolutely delicious! The broth is light and fresh, while the pasta and beans add some heartiness. I did a few things different... I used swiss chard instead of escarole. It's a little easier to find vs. escarole and it was a little less expensive. Plus, it's beautiful! I added some ground sausage to this. It had a good amount of fennel seed in it, which paired wonderfully with the soup. Finally, I put a lot of fresh herbs in the soup just before serving. I used canned beans, but took the time to make the broth anyways. Definitely recommend doing that even if you use canned beans. The guests finished their bowls of soup with some really great olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, and pepper flakes. Overall, this was a huge hit at my dinner party, and I loved having it left over.



    • 2/7/2018

  • I changed this a bit. I didn't have dried cannellini beans but did have 2 cans. I sauteed the celery and carrots and garlic in a little olive oil but then added chicken broth to them and sauteed them for 15 min. or so until tender. I also browned crumbled sausage at this point as an addition. I never discarded the vegetables but I did add the beans at the very end of the cooking time along with the sausage. Then I did the onion and tomato part, adding some crushed red pepper to that. Ultimately I added that to the bean mixture and sauteed for another 10 min. I added the broken pasta, adding more broth as needed. I allowed this to cook for 15 min. I couldn't find escarole but used baby spinach. I just laid some of the spinach in the bottom of the bowl, pouring soup over the top, then shaving parmesan over along with a drizzel of olive oil. This was an excellent dish!!



    • 11/20/2017

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