You may know it as the New York Pasta Fazool, but this traditional farmer's soup from Italy has a rich history and makes for a hearty and satisfying meal. This is the easiest way to make vegan Pasta e Fagioli in the Instant Pot for a great go-to for the week ahead.
Why is it called Pasta e Fagioli?
The name Pasta e Fagioli translates to Pasta and Beans, two of the main ingredients in this hearty soup. In Naples the soup is called Pasta e Fasul and so thereafter came the infamous New York translation into Pasta Fazool. This dish is traditionally made from scraps and peasant ingredients and has humble roots in the farmlands of Italy. Who wouldn't want to walk in to a bowl of warmth and comfort after a hard days work? As with most recipes, veganizing this one is a simple switch of vegetable broth and a vegan sausage.
The Pasta in Pasta e Fagioli
The idea of this soup was to make sure nothing went to waste, and so traditionally used whatever pasta was on hand. One of my favorite pastas is Ditalini Pasta, a small short cut macaroni. The tiny size of this pasta helps get a small bit in every spoonful.
The Beans (aka the Fagioli)
Generally, I love the meaty Cannellini Beans for this recipe. They are a traditional white bean used throughout central and southern Italy. They have a nutty and earthy flavor. In addition, these beans are also available in both dried and canned form. If you are using dried beans, however, you will want to soak them overnight and cook with the soup. For me, I find little difference in this soup by using canned beans. Not only do they make the recipe even easier, but you can be sure they're cooked perfectly every time. Don't worry if you can't find cannellini beans. Any one of a variety of beans can be used in their place:
- Navy Beans
- Great Northern White Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- Baby Lima Beans
- Fava Beans
- Kidney Beans
The Meat that adds Heartiness
Part of what makes Pasta e Fagioli so hearty is traditionally the addition of meat cuts. When I make my meatless version, I do love the addition of vegan sausage and/or burger meat. The fat and spices add additional flavor and heartiness. If you prefer a healthier option, check out my recipe for Italian Mushroom Sausage Crumbles. Undeniably, the soup will be good whichever route you choose.
Vegan Pasta e Fagioli in the Instant Pot
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 pound Vegan Beef such as Beyond Meat, Impossible Meat, or Soyrizo
- 1 Yellow Onion diced
- 1 ½ cups Sliced Carrots about 2
- 1 ½ cups Sliced Celery about 3 stalks
- 4 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1 8-oz can Tomato Sauce
- 1 15-oz can Diced Tomatoes
- 4 cups No-Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Thyme
- 2 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Sage
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 cup Dry Ditalini Pasta
- 1 15 oz can Garbanzo Beans, drained
- 1 15 oz can White Beans, drained
- Shredded Vegan Parmesan for Garnish optional
- Heat half of the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Crumble the vegan beef into the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned (about 4 minutes). Turn off heat and set aside.
- Set the Instant Pot to “sauté” setting for 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining oil and the onions.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to turn a golden brown (about 3 minutes)
- Add the carrots and the celery and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir, and turn off the sauté setting.
- Next, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth, sugar, and the browned meat you set aside. Stir well to combine.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on “Pressure Cook- high” for 20 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, cook your pasta separately, following the instructions on the package.
- When the time is up, press the quick release button and let all the steam escape. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- After decompressing the Instant Pot, remove the lid and add in both types of beans and the cooked pasta. Stir and remove from the pot.
- The soup is ready to enjoy.