Hygge, baby. This Vegan Pasta e Fagioli is oh-so hygge.
I mean, I’m no hygge expert, but I’m pretty sure I’m feeling it here. Warm, cozy, perfect for a stormy autumn day. Comfort in a bowl.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, summer came late and ended early. September has been usually rainy and I’m already feeling a little bleh from all the gray. All the gray, AND knowing the dreary season is just beginning. Except it kinda feels like it never really ended?
So I’m realllly trying to just embrace it. Fire roaring, fuzzy blankets everywhere, tea kettle on demand. And! Pasta e Fagioli, good ol’ Italian pasta and beans. Except not the traditional stuff – this is meatless, vegetarian pasta e fagioli.
Also affectionately known as pasta fazool, this popular Italian peasant dish usually starts with pancetta and might also include chicken and/or beef broth – just as it does in my inspiration recipe, this Authentic Italian Pasta e Fagioli recipe from blog Good in the Simple. But as someone who doesn’t eat meat, those ingredients were a no-go.
One of my favorite ways to give a dish that smoky depth of flavor without the meat is smoked paprika, and – you guessed it – that’s what we have here. Just saute the onions in a good amount of olive oil, then toss in minced garlic, fresh rosemary, and smoked paprika. Inhale. Smile.
From there, it goes pretty fast (another reason to love pasta fazool!) Add two cans of the beans and vegetable broth and puree. Then add another can of beans (drained), tomatoes, and the pasta, then boil until the pasta is al dente. That, my friends, is the whole deal. And it’s pure comfort in a bowl.
Thick, hearty, absolutely packed full of flavor, and unbelievably perfect with a nice chunk of crusty bread for dunking.
This Vegan Pasta e Fagioli is officially my new go-to cozy-making fall-and-winter situation. I hope you’ll feel the same way!
Vegan Pasta e Fagiole
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion (diced (about 1 cup))
- 3 medium cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 3 15-ounce cans cannellini beans
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups uncooked small or medium pasta shells
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- More olive oil for drizzling
- Grated parmesan (for non-vegans or vegan parmesan)
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Set a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add olive oil. When hot, add the onion. Saute until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, and smoked paprika. Saute, stirring constantly, for one more minute.
- Add TWO cans of beans to the pot, liquid included.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture right in the pot (you can also puree in a blender and return the mixture to the pot).
- Drain the remaining can of beans and add to the pot, along with the broth, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil.
- Once boiling, add the pasta. Cook until al dente (the exact time depends on package directions - usually about 8 minutes).
- Taste, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, parmesan (for the non-vegans) or vegan parmesan if using, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes if desired. Don't forget the crusty bread served alongside!