Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 13, 2013

…just like pasta fazool

You may have heard of pasta fazool from the Dean Martin song, That’s Amore…When the stars make you drool, just-a like pasta fazool, that’s amore….

Pasta fazool is the Neapolitan name for pasta e fagioli, pasta and beans. Every Italian family would have its own recipe for this eternally popular meal. It was originally a peasant dish, made with inexpensive ingredients, usually without meat. I have eaten many versions of it in Italy, but I have never made it.

My lovely friends Enzo and Sharon (I have known them for more than 40 years) presented me with some fresh borlotti beans and some of the pasta they make themselves and sell at local farmers’ markets. Here they are at the Powerhouse markets at New Farm in Brisbane.


Time to make pasta and beans.

It is usually made with canned or dried beans, but I used my lovely fresh borlotti beans, which I peeled and cooked until just tender in boiling water. If you use dried beans they will need to be cooked in boiling water until tender. Canned cannellini or borlotti beans would need to be drained and lightly rinsed.



To make pasta and beans for 4 people you will also need.

1 medium onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 celery stick, diced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste

3 cups chicken stock

500 grams small pasta


Saute the onion, carrot, celery in a little olive oil for a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add stock, beans and pasta.  You could also add tinned tomatoes (I did), in which case reduce the amount of stock a bit. Cook until the pasta is al dente.



I served my pasta and beans with grated Parmesan cheese.



Thank you Sharon and Enzo…pasta fazool..that’s amore!


  1. Yum! Aaaah….pasta fazool…that’s amore, indeed!!

    • Pasta fazool is delicious and easy to love.

  2. I make pasta fazool three or four times a month with the recipe adapting to the seasons. One can live on pasta fazool alone!!! Seemingly it isn’t a true Italian home if it’s kitchen is without pasta fazool in one of its many permutations!! Grazie per la ricetta!

    • The beauty of pasta e fagioli is that you really can add anything you like to the basic recipe.

  3. Debra. not only to I love Dean Martin but I think this will be a favourite recipe as well. Thanks to you and Sharon & Enzo.

    • It is really easy to do and tastes great.

  4. Thank you for the pasta recipe.The cooked pasta looks delicious.

    • I’m sure will enjoy this when you make it.

  5. Fresh beans are also considered a delicacy in the North of Spain, but we always cook them separately starting with cold water with a drip of oil, salt and a couple of bay leaves. They say that all pulses, with the exception of chickpeas, should be cooked in cold water first…

    • Thank you for the extra tips. I love fresh beans. Borlotti beans are so pretty it seems a shame to cook them at all.

  6. We’ve got our own beans growing in our allotment now and will definately consider your recipe for our next Sunday lunch.

    • How lovely to pick your own beans!

  7. I’m drooling Debra 🙂

    • It is really easy to make, you should try it.

  8. What a great way to make your first pasta e fagioli. I expect you had Dino on in the background as you cooked…

    • I quite like a bit of Dino.

  9. I love bot otto beans in summer. And that homemade pasta looks divine. One of our favourite dishes here!

  10. I wrote borlotti and look what happened! Xcat

    • Bot otto beans could be fun.

  11. I always buy borlotti beans when I’m in Italy for this purpose. You can order them from Italian Harvest in San Francisco, Ca and I have many times just for pasta fazool. You’ve enticed me to make it soon, even though weather here is in the 90’s.. Grazie

    • Maybe it is a little warm for past fazool, but worth a try.

  12. wow that looks delicious :).

    • I have eaten many versions fo pasta fazool…all good.

  13. Yum…that looks fantastic Debra! Thanks for the recipe Debra….will definitely try it!

    • Feel free to add some extra flavours.

  14. Yum! We just picked some of our borlotti beans from the garden today…can’t wait to eat them!

    • I do love borlotti beans…cooked any way.

  15. Delicious! That’s pretty much how my grandmother made it…with a few tweaks of course. 😉

    • The great thing about pasta e fagioli is that you can really add what ever you like.

      • The same with pizza… or not?

      • When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…

  16. When I interviewed Marco Pierre White a few years ago he said that this was his favourite comfort dish 😀

  17. We love this dish!

  18. Looks delicious. Now I have to try making it myself.

    • It is really easy, and delicious.

  19. I have just made this for lunch and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

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