Gluten Free Pasta e Fagioli

Today I’m making Pasta e Fagioli, a favorite on the menu of Italian restaurants everywhere.  Of course, for those of us with Celiac disease, ordering any type of soup at a restaurant is not an option, or at best a roll of the dice.  Luckily, most soups are easy to recreate at home!  Especially when most of the ingredients are naturally gluten free, just be sure and check the labels!  And as I always say, don’t shy away from cooking with beans.  The Navy beans that I used in this soup are especially easy to work with and always turn out great.  You can of course use canned beans, I won’t tell!

8 – 10 Servings

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  • 1 cup (dry) Navy beans
  • 2 gluten free Italian sausage links
  • 3/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional but good)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) gluten free diced tomatoes, pulsed in chopper
  • 3 cups gluten free beef stock
  • 1-1/2 cups gluten free chicken stock
  • 1 cup gluten free Ditalini pasta


Start the soup the night before, by soaking the navy beans overnight. Always look them over for any foreign material (i.e. errant grains that may sneak in or even a pebble!).  I also rinse them in a colander under cold water to minimize any trace gluten residue, then place in a small sauce pan with cold water, cover and let them stand until morning.  The next day, drain and rinse again, then return to a clean pot.

Add cold water, cover and place on a very low simmer for 2 hours.

Next, get the other ingredients ready.  We’ll be making a Soffritto (a flavor base composed of sautéed carrots, celery, and onion that forms the foundation of so many Italian recipes), so the veggies need to be finely minced.  I used my electric chopper to make the prep work super fast and easy.

I used about 1/2 of a medium sweet onion, 3 med stalks of celery and 1 large carrot.  You will have about 3/4 cup of each, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be precise 😉  Mince the garlic and set aside.

In a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil.  Remove casings from the sausage and add to the pot.  I used Open Nature Italian Chicken Sausage.  Brown the sausage then cut into pieces and continue cooking through, about 3 minutes.

Remove sausage from the pan, reserving any leftover oil.  Cool slightly and add to the chopper.  Pulse a few times to break up the meat.

In the same pan, add another tbsp. of olive oil and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes.  Stir 30 seconds to intensify their flavor.

Next add the minced garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute.

Now add the carrots, celery and onion to make the Soffritto.  Stir frequently for 2 minutes, you will see the veggies begin to break down and release their liquid.

Add back the chopped sausage along with the white wine (if using).  Stir together and cook 2 minutes.

Place the diced tomatoes in the chopper and pulse a few times.  Stir the tomatoes into the pot, along with the beef stock, chicken stock, sage and thyme.

Add the drained, cooked beans.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 45-60 minutes.

Finally, cook the Ditalini separately in salted water, drain and add to the soup.  (Note, you may see recipes where the pasta is cooked directly in the soup, but I find that gluten free pasta works best when cooked separately.)

Garnish with parsley and serve with grated cheese (optional) and a thick slice of gluten free bread.

Notes: ♪♫ I was especially happy to find Le Veneziane Gluten Free Ditalini pasta, traditionally used in this soup.  You can use any small, gluten free pasta or break up any gluten free pasta into small pieces.

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