Monday, June 24, 2013

Donnamarie's Pasta e Fagioli (Utica-Style)

"white version," of my mom's  quick & easy, Pasta e Fagioli

Red vs. White? Which are you?

Some Pasta e Fagioli is "red," and some is "white." Some is soupier, and some is thicker...When you go to Joey's Restaurant, in Utica, NY, you can order it either white or red, but I prefer it white because that's how my mom makes it. This is my mother's recipe. She's worked in the Utica restaurant biz for over 40 years, so I've seen a few variations. But, this one is a really quick and easy one that doesn't really need writing down.

Most of you probably make something very similar, I bet. It comes together in under ten minutes if you have your marinara already made.  And, the best part is, it tastes like a big warm hug from Mamma!!  xxooo


2 cans of cannellini beans
2- 2/12 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of marinara sauce (chunky, not pureed)
2-3 cloves of garlic(pushed through a garlic press)
3 tablespoons of good olive oil
1/2 cup of Italian parsley (rough chopped)
1/2 pound of ditalini pasta (short tubes)
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
hot pepper flakes (optional)


1.) Puree half of one can of cannellini beans (do not drain liquid) with one tablespoon of olive oil.

2.) In a large saucepan, on medium low heat, add the olive oil and garlic. Heat for a couple minutes and stir in the remaining  1 1/2 cans of cannellini beans. Stir thoroughly.

3.) Stir in the cannellini puree and add about 2 cups of chicken stock.

4.) Stir in the  cup of the marinara sauce, then add the parsley.

5.) If you would like the pasta e fagioli soupier, just add more chicken stock.

6.) If you prefer a little heat, add chili pepper flakes.

7.) Serve with ditalini pasta. (don't add too much pasta, though. It should be loose enough to dunk crusty bread)

NOTE:  suitable add-ins are are little bits of escarole, or chopped pepperoncini (pickled from the jar), and some people like pancetta, or pieces of prosciutto.


  1. Will be trying this for sure. When Anthony and I would go to Joey's his favorite was the red.

    1. Hey, Linda! Thanks for stopping by! Great memories from Joey's. If you want to make it the way Anthony loved it, simply add more of the marinara. It's important to keep traitions alive, epecially family traditions. xxoo


    2. I love this recipe even better than my own. This one is my goto one from now on.

  2. Donna Maria knows her stuff. No self respecting cook doing anything close to authentic recipes would EVER mix garlic and onion, yet, one see it even in mass market magazine recipes in Italy, particularly online.

  3. Authentic pasta e fagioli does not use canned beans. Secondly, the recipe does not
    call for chicken stock. This is an Italian-American recipe.

    1. I grew up in E.Utica and used my BFF's recipe which she learned from her MIL. Your right we did not use chicken stock. (I also think it is Americanized) but we did use cannellini beans from the can. Ours was garlic, onion, tomato paste, beans and the pasta

  4. I miss Joey's. Lived in Utica for over 40 years and Joey's was a favorite (people came from Syracuse to have lunch there). Hard to find Utica style Italian food in other areas of the country. It's the best. Now if you can just post a Utica marinara sauce for this not Italian but love Utica Italian cooking fan-------

  5. Hi , I was wondering if you have the recipe for the white pasta fagioli, I can not tomatoes because of the acid, but this is one of my favorite soups(meals).

  6. I want to thank you for your posts - I am a native Utican (New Hartford really), who is living in Atlanta. Yours are some of the most simple home dishes. I have been under the weather, made a quick marinara and made this recipe... It really does feel like I'm home. You have made my week!