27 March 2020


A battuta of ½ an onion, ½ a carrot & 1 stick of celery, (all very finely chopped)

2 tablespoons of lard or extra virgin olive oil 

1 chilli

 a piece of bacon rind or the skin from the prosciutto

2 bay leaves

1 sprig of rosemary

200g of dry borlotti beans – (soaked and cooked)

½ a litre of ham stock

300ml of tomato passata

250 – 350g of pasta 

pasta e fagioli I

Probably the only dish that unites Italy and therefore, also its most divisive. The not so healthy version.


The quick version takes about forty minutes. Using borlotti beans that are already cooked and without the prosciutto stock and its skin, which I like to use. But, then the takes twenty four hours of organisation.



My tip is to start with strutto, rendered pig fat, which once rendered I infuse with peppers, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, star anise and garlic. It’s an amazing base flavour. If you add some strips of skin from the prosciutto, remove any part that has yellowed before adding it to the pan. STEPS

Prepare the Battuta, chopping it finely so that it will completely disintegrate into the sauce.

Heat some lard or extra virgin olive oil in a heavy based casserole and add the pieces of bacon rind, or prosciutto skin along with the battuta of vegetables. Cook the vegetables down until they have melted away and then add the cooked borlotti beans, along with the chilli, the rosemary and the bay leaf and stir them into the Battuta. Cook for a couple of minute and then add the ham stock and bring to the boil and cook on a rolling boil until it has reduced down by a at least a half. 

Then add the tomato passata, bring back to the boil and then simmer on a gentle heat for about thirty minutes. 

Remove a piece of prosciutto skin form the sauce cut away any fat and then cut into small slices or cubes and return to the sauce.

While the sauce is finishing. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the pasta, draining it when it is still very al dente.  Discard the rosemary, the bayl eaves and the bacon rind from the and add the pasta to the sauce, stir it in and finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. Turn of the heat and let the pasta fagioli cool down for a couple of minutes before serving

pasta e fagioli I