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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Italian Bean Soup with Fresh Pasta

Italian Bean Soup with Fresh Pasta

40 minutes

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Italian Bean Soup with Fresh Pasta

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This is not your typical Italian bean and pasta soup. It’s a simplified version of a hearty, rustic zuppa we tasted at Trattoria dai Mugnai in Monteveglio, a village outside of Bologna. Short, wide ribbons of fresh pasta float dumpling-like in a creamy bean puree subtly flavored with garlic and fresh herbs. If you have a piece of Parmesan rind, simmer it with the beans; it releases savory flavors into the broth. For weeknight ease, we use canned Roman beans (also known as borlotti beans or cranberry beans). If you cannot find canned Roman beans, pintos, which have a similar color and texture, are a fine substitute. If you own an immersion blender, you can use it to puree the beans directly in the saucepan without first cooling the mixture for 10 minutes. Whichever type of blender you use, if you added a piece of Parmesan rind to the pot, remember to remove it before pureeing.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t use dried pasta for this soup, as it will not cook properly. Fresh pasta is key. Look for wide, ribbon-like noodles such as pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine and cut them into 2-inch lengths before use. If you can find sheets of fresh pasta, they work nicely, too—simply cut them into rough 2-inch squares. Don’t puree the beans until completely smooth; leave them with some texture.

40 minutes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 15½-ounce cans Roman beans (see headnote), rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or sage
1 piece Parmesan rind (optional), plus finely grated Parmesan, to serve
8-9 ounce package fresh pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine (see note), cut into 2-inch lengths
Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, chopped

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 2

    15½-ounce cans Roman beans (see headnote), rinsed and drained

  • 2

    teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or sage

  • 1

    piece Parmesan rind (optional), plus finely grated Parmesan, to serve

  • 8-9

    ounce package fresh pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine (see note), cut into 2-inch lengths

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste darkens slightly and begins to stick to the pan, about 3 minutes.
  2. 02
    Add the beans, rosemary, Parmesan rind (if using), 5 cups water, ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork, about 10 minutes.
  3. 03
    Off heat, remove and discard the Parmesan rind (if used); let cool for about 10 minutes. Using a blender and working in 2 batches to avoid overfilling the jar, pulse the bean mixture until creamy but not completely smooth. Return the puree to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium.
  4. 04
    Add the pasta and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente (refer to the package for cooking times, but begin checking for doneness a minute or two sooner than the directions indicate). Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with oil and top with grated Parmesan.
Tip: Don’t use dried pasta for this soup, as it will not cook properly. Fresh pasta is key. Look for wide, ribbon-like noodles such as pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine and cut them into 2-inch lengths before use. If you can find sheets of fresh pasta, they work nicely, too—simply cut them into rough 2-inch squares. Don’t puree the beans until completely smooth; leave them with some texture.
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Reviews
Stephen G.
August 31, 2022
Simple But Satisfying
Three primary ingredients create a surprisingly excellent soup destined to serve as a family favorite.
Lori O.

Excellent! Easy, hearty and flavorful. Followed exactly, used sage and the Jovial brand jarred Roman (Borlotti) beans. I think the parmesan rind is definitely worth adding too.

christine d.

My soup was not thin enough, it ended up being more like spaghetti with bean sauce. I used dried Rancho Gordo cranberry beans, so the flavor was amazing.

Lynn C.

Hi Christine -

This recipe was developed for canned beans. It should still work with cooked, dried beans but if you try to cook the beans in the soup, there won't be enough water to compensate. Also, make sure to use *fresh* pasta, not dried. Again, there isn't enough water to account for cooking dried pasta.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

christine d.

Thank you! I hope you make a video of this recipe, I'd love to see it being made.

christine d.

Thank you! I hope you make a video of this recipe, I'd love to see it being made.

Susan M.

Delicious. I followed the recipe exactly as written. My first bowl was definitely soup consistency. However, it thickens fairly quickly. While waiting for it to cool to store in the refrigerator, it had already thickened to more of a pasta dish with a heavy bean sauce. I'm not complaining. The flavors are so good. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow.

Nicole B.

One of those dishes that is greater than the sum of its parts. Hearty, comforting, and delicious. It's a quick and easy dinner, perfect with a salad and crusty bread!

Tracie E.

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Ellen G.

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Mary G.

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Italian Bean Soup with Fresh Pasta

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

40 minutes

Tip

Don’t use dried pasta for this soup, as it will not cook properly. Fresh pasta is key. Look for wide, ribbon-like noodles such as pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine and cut them into 2-inch lengths before use. If you can find sheets of fresh pasta, they work nicely, too—simply cut them into rough 2-inch squares. Don’t puree the beans until completely smooth; leave them with some texture.

Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, chopped

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 2

    15½-ounce cans Roman beans (see headnote), rinsed and drained

  • 2

    teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or sage

  • 1

    piece Parmesan rind (optional), plus finely grated Parmesan, to serve

  • 8-9

    ounce package fresh pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine (see note), cut into 2-inch lengths

Step 1 of 4

Combine Ingredients In Saucepan

2
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1
medium yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt
2
tablespoons tomato paste
2
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes.


Add the tomato paste and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste darkens slightly and begins to stick to the pan, about 3 minutes.

Step 2 of 4

Add Beans

2
15½-ounce cans Roman beans, rinsed and drained
2
teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or sage
1
piece Parmesan rind
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Add the beans, rosemary, Parmesan rind (if using), 5 cups water, ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.


Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork, about 10 minutes.

Step 3 of 4

Blend Soup

Off heat, remove and discard the Parmesan rind (if used); let cool for about 10 minutes.


Using a blender and working in 2 batches to avoid overfilling the jar, pulse the bean mixture until creamy but not completely smooth. Return the puree to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium.

Step 4 of 4

Finish and Serve

8-9
ounce package fresh pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine (see note), cut into 2-inch lengths
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
Finely grated Parmesan, to serve

Add the pasta and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente (refer to the package for cooking times, but begin checking for doneness a minute or two sooner than the directions indicate).


Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with oil and top with grated Parmesan.

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