Satisfying My Craving Without Shopping: Pasta Fagioli


Today was one of those days…a battle between a craving for one of my favorite soups and the laziness in me that didn’t want to leave the house and go get the ingredients.  Actually, it wasn’t exactly lazy but my to do list really didn’t leave a whole lot of space for me to grocery shop over a random craving.  I was about to abandon ship and make a sandwich when I decided to scour my pantry and see if I could come close working with what I had.  I have to say, it came out well enough to satisfy my craving and a definite do over for in a pinch.  

Where I’m from, September is fall and it actually starts to get cool and if it doesn’t immediately get cool, everyone knows that the cool weather is right around the corner. Cool-weather, of course, means time for stews, soups, chili, crock pots and lots of comfort foods.  This is one of my favorites!  I am a huge fan of south Texas fall (or summer part 2) and will eat soups and stews in the middle of summer but once we hit technical fall, I really enjoy those types of meals.  Today’s craving was Pasta Fagioli.  I make this pretty regularly because it’s quick, delicious and reasonably healthy.  I was taught to make it many years ago.  The basics of the actual recipe are pasta, cannellini beans, fresh basil, fresh parsley, fresh garlic, canned chicken broth and tomato paste.  After scouring my pantry, I gave it a shot with dried herbs and jarred chopped garlic instead of fresh and powdered bouillon instead of canned broth.  While I could definitely taste the difference, it did the trick and was pretty delicious! While I would encourage you to give it a try with fresh, this version is a pretty decent substitute!   Enjoy!

Ingredients for Pasta Fagioli:

1/4c olive oil

2 TBSP each parsley, basil, oregano

4 TBSP jarred garlic

2 cans cannellini beans 

1 can tomato paste

1 box of ditalini or elbow pasta

4 cups of chicken broth/bouillon

  1. Cook pasta per package directions (some people add their pasta in but I like to leave the pasta separate so it doesn’t suck up the liquid and so that the amount of pasta can be customized per bowl
  2. To a large pot on medium-high heat, add the oil, garlic and herbs and saute for a few minutes (be careful not to let the garlic burn)
  3. Add tomato paste and beans and allow to cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth and simmer until heated through (if you start the pasta water when you start the soup, they should both finish at about the same time)
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.  

**For a less “soupy”/thicker meal, reduce the water and herbs by half

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Christine Hood
Christine, a native New Yorker, moved to Calallen in 2017 after her husband Chris retired from the Army. When Chris whisked her away from Virginia Beach 12 years ago, he promised he would take her back to the beach when he retired “in just a few years”. After more than 10 years, he finally decided to call it quits. They chose Corpus for the beach, beautiful sunshine and almost year round beautiful weather. They have a 19 year old daughter named Taylor who graduated from Calallen High School and played on the Varsity Soccer Team and an 8 year old son, named CJ who is headed for the 3rd grade at East Elementary and is a Green Belt in Tae Kwon Do.


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