Top | Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli alla Fiorentina

(recipe, Judith Barrett)


This is a simple bean-and-pasta soup from Florence, where cannellini are traditionally cooked with just about anything and everything. This soup offers many of the flavors you’ll find in Tuscany, including garlic, rosemary, and hot pepper.


  1. 1 cup dried cannellini, or Great Northern beans
  2. 6 cloves garlic, peeled, 3 whole, 3 finely chopped
  3. 2 stems fresh rosemary, leaves only, chopped
  4. 8 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
  5. ½ cup olive oil
  6. Pinch of peperoncino (red-pepper flakes)
  7. Salt
  8. 1 cup dried ditalini, or other small tubular pasta


  1. Soak the beans in cold water for 8 hours or longer. Drain and discard the soaking water. Rinse under cold water and drain again. Combine the beans with the 3 whole cloves of garlic, half of the rosemary, half of the sage, and 10 cups cold water in a heavy 6-quart soup pot or casserole over medium-high heat. When the water boils, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, about 1 hour, until the beans are tender.
  2. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and peperoncino and cook, gently, 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Add to the soup and simmer, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add the pasta and continue cooking, stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot, 10 to 12 minutes longer, until the pasta is tender but firm to the bite, al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil with the remaining rosemary and sage over low heat. When the soup is finished, add the oil and herb mixture and stir well to combine before serving.