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Sardinian Pasta Fagioli | Weeknight Vegetarian Meals | Easy Vegetarian Dinners

30-minute weekday dinner anyone? Say hello to Pasta Fagioli! “Fagioli” (fa-joli) means beans in Italian and this Blue Zone dish from Sardinia celebrates the humble bean.

Did you know that people living the longest eat ½ to 1 cup of beans a day? So, if you want to up the quality of life, its good to get some beans into your diet. Try lentils or black-eyed peas for starters. They’re the least gassy.
I made this dish with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia today and they told me it snowed for the first day of the season today! So, a warm pasta bowl like this is the perfect dinner to snuggle up with.
It comes together in 30 minutes or less and uses mostly pantry ingredients. It’s a simple preparation of sautéing veggies, tomatoes, and then adding the beans. I have to say the key ingredients here are the extra virgin olive oil and the pecorino or parmesan cheese. 

Get your best extra virgin olive oil to drizzle at the end and grate some of that good cheese over too. Then, the dish feels decadent- not that “health food stuff”.
Enjoy! Buon Appetito!

Why you’ll love this recipe: 

  • its even great the next day eaten like a cold pasta salad
  • its a filling vegetarian or vegan meal
  • it comes together in 30 minutes- a for a perfect weekday dinner


30-minute Pasta Fagioli

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6):

  • ¼ lb orecchiette
  • 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks fresh celery, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped zucchini, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves Fresh garlic, minced or garlic powder to taste
  • 1 -2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cans great northern beans (or 3 cups cooked), drained
  • ½ cup flat Italian parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup pecorino cheese (optional)


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil to cook the pasta. Salt the water with about 1 Tbsp. salt or the water tastes like the sea. Boil the pasta until al dente, or there is a bite to it. Then, drain pasta, but reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water.
  2. Chop and dice all the vegetables into a small size. Heat a large saute pan with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and add onion, celery, zucchini, garlic, and whole cherry tomatoes. Cook a few minutes, or until zucchini is just soft to the bite. Squash the cherry tomatoes with a spatula to release their juice.
  3. Then, add cooked pasta to the pan with the veggies. Add the reserve ½ cup cooking water and the drained beans. Heat for 1-2 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Finish with lots of chopped parsley, olive oil and cheese. (You could even zest some lemon on top- would be nice).


To your happy and healthy life, 


Instagram: @chefjoannas 

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