This simple recipe was passed down to me from my mom, which came from her mom. I remember the first night I ever made it. I called my mother excitedly to tell her, “It smells just like your kitchen in here!”

~ Amy Barbato

Mom's Pasta Fagioli

  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 8 oz. can of Tomato Sauce
  • Red Pepper Flakes, a pinch or two
  • Black Pepper, a pinch
  • Italian Seasoning, a pinch
  • 1 15 oz. can of Cannellini (any white bean)
  • 1 cup of Ditallini Pasta (or elbows)
  • Mozzarella and Grated Cheese of choice

Yield: 4-6 servings


  1. Start a sauce pan with olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic cloves, and heat until softened, which should take about 2 minutes.
  2. Add can of tomato sauce and one 8 oz can of water.
  3. Season with red pepper flakes, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  4. Bring mixture to a bubble on medium-high heat.
  5. Add the can of Cannellini beans and one 15 oz. can of water.
  6. Bring back to a simmering bubble and then lower the heat to a slow simmer.
  7. In another pan, simultaneously, bring water to a boil, salt, and cook pasta for about 5 minutes (for 8 min pasta, or 2/3 of total cook time).
  8. Drain pasta, and add to the pot with the sauce. Simmer until the pasta finishes cooking. (Or you can cook pasta entirely, keep separate, and just add to bowls as you serve.)
  9. You can remove the garlic cloves, or leave them in if you like to eat them.

Remove from heat and serve. Top with freshly grated Mozzarella cheese and other grated cheese of choice (Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano) Enjoy!

Note: Some people add pepperoni or sausage if desired, but above is my mom’s simple and delicious version.