Full disclosure, neither of my grandmothers was ‘Nona’. They were both ‘Grannies’. One was originally from the UK and the other was as Quebecois as is humanly possible. So, where did Nona’s Pasta e Fagiloli come from? I live in a city with the largest population of ex patriot Italiani outside of Italy and worked for more than a decade at North America’s longest running and largest daily Italian language newspaper. Briefly, this recipe comes from someone else’s Nona… and, it’s awesome!
The key to this wonderful soup are the beans. Pasta e Fagioli usually features cannellini beans which are often also the stars of that other Italian favourite, Minestrone. Popular in southern and central Italian regions like Calabria or Tuscany, they have a smooth nutty flavour and are often referred to as white kidney beans. They’re also very similar to white navy beans or haricots which are found throughout the UK. Either could be a good substitute if you can’t find cannelinni in cans or dry at your local supermarket. They’re also great company in many fish or chicken dishes and vegetarians often use them as a hearty substitute for either.
Nutritionally, canellini are great source of protein with a single serving delivering 15 grams, about a third of your daily requirement. They are also low fat and low cal. A single serving contains 225 calories and only a single gram of fat. Cannellini are also powerful sources of iron, magnesium and folate which support oxygenation of blood, digestion and help in the fight against high blood pressure, anemia, heart disease and stroke.
Scroll through how to make this delicious soup and, if you like what you see, don’t forget to ‘like’ and ‘follow’.
Note: This soup is best served immediately. If it sits the pasta and beans soak up the broth. If the soup gets too thick, you can always thin it with a bit more broth or even water.
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