Pasta E Fagioli with Tortellini and Kale

January 24, 2016
Pasta e fagioli is a meatless Italian dish made with pasta and beans. Instead of using a small pasta like ditalini, I like to use cheese tortellini to add another layer of flavor and make it even more filling. I add frozen tortellini in the last step and let it cook directly in the soup.


  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup (160 g) diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups (705 ml) Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp rosemary
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1¾ cups (315 g) or 1 (14.5-oz [406-g]) can diced tomatoes
  • 1¾ cups (438 g) cooked cannellini beans
  • 2 cups (140 g) chopped fresh kale
  • 16-oz (455-g) bag frozen tortellini*


Best-Batch Cooking Method: Any

Serves 4—6 

* Use gluten-free Vegetable Broth and gluten-free tortellini to make this dish gluten-free.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion is tender.

Add the broth, spices and tomatoes to the pot. Cook over high heat until it reaches a boil. Lower heat and add the beans and kale. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the frozen tortellini and cook for 6 to 8 minutes longer, or until the tortellini are heated through.

Prep-ahead tip: You can make the pasta e fagioli in advance, but wait to add the tortellini until you are getting ready to reheat and serve it. Once the pasta is added it will continue to absorb liquid and expand, so the tortellini could begin to break apart if you add it too far in advance of serving this dish.

Excerpted from Prep-Ahead Meals from Scratch by Alea Milham. Page Street Publishing, 2016.