When most Americans hear "pasta fagioli recipe", they probably think of a reddish soup that is heavily seasoned and usually comes from a can.
Actually, in Italy there are many versions of this classic dish seeing that the word fagioli just means "beans" so any soup of pasta and beans would be classified under this category!
This main course soup is usually served with hot bread and a salad.
First things first, prepare the beans. If you can spend the time - use dried beans and soak them overnight to give them back their plumpness. This gives you a more fresh-tasting bean, and reduces the amount of sodium you intake at the end of the day (compared to using canned beans).
If you don't have the time, 2 cans of cannellini beans will do just fine... in any case, before putting the beans into your recipes, make sure to rinse, rinse, rinse them!
Fill a large pot with water and add the beans to it. Turn the heat up to high. Add the rest of the vegetables and let them cook to a rolling boil. Then turn the heat down. Add the seasonings, and allow to cook for another 30 to 40 minutes.
Before you add pasta, taste a bean or two to make sure they are almost thoroughly cooked.
Turn the heat up again and add the pasta. Right before the pasta is done cooking, taste it to make sure there is enough salt in the soup.
When the pasta is tender, turn off the heat. Before serving remove the big chunks of onion and tomato then get ready to serve.
Give everyone a hefty amount, because they are sure to eat every last drop!