Cranberry Bean Pasta Fagioli

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cooking Time

1 hr 55 minutes


4-6 servings as a main dish.



5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

5 cloves garlic, smashed

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

5 canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

Kosher salt3 pounds fresh cranberry beans in pods, shelled (or 1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight)

2 bay leaves1 piece parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and more for topping

2 cups small pasta, such as shells or penne

1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Freshly ground pepper


Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 

Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary and pancetta, if using, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt. 

Add the beans, 3 quarts water, the bay leaves and parmesan rind. 

Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.  

Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. 

Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 more minutes. 

(The soup should be thick and creamy; thin with water, if necessary.)  Remove the bay leaves, parmesan rind and pancetta, if used. Add the grated parmesan, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with more olive oil and parmesan.


Nutritional Analysis:

Per Serving     Calories  574

Total Fat   26.5 g

Saturated Fat  6 g

Protein  25 g

Total Carbohydrates  63 g

Sugar  4 g