Classic Pasta Fagioli with imported Parmigiano Reggiano

The secret to the rich broth and incredible flavor of this hearty, rustic, Italian bean stew? Nutty imported Parmigiano Reggiano cheese used three different ways in the recipe! We slow simmer the rind in the broth, stir fine grated Parmigiano Reggiano into the stew as a thickener AND of course garnish the top with more!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • 2 TB olive oil plus more for serving
  • 4 oz diced pancetta
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Parmesan rind
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2, 15 oz cans cannellini beans or chick peas rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup jarred marinara sauce
  • 1 cup ditalini or small-cut pasta such as elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more shaved or grated for serving
  • Fresh basil for garnish


  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add pancetta and cook until it begins to brown. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Add wine and cook until it has nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add broth, Parmigiano Reggiano rind, beans and marinara sauce and increase heat to bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes or to al dente. Stir in grated Parmigiano Reggiano and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve garnished with additional Parmigiano Reggiano and optional basil.


Tip: Save the edges or “rinds” from your imported Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in a container in the freezer to simmer in all your soups and stews for an amazing boost of flavor. It’s a classic Italian cooking trick.
Keyword italian soup, soup