Fagiolata, Revisited

A bowl of fagiolata with bread

I’m home from vacation, and revisiting another simple recipe I originally posted back in 2019 seemed like a good way to get some food in the refrigerator. As I promised in the original post, I did use dry beans this time, as well as salami. The beans worked out well, and as I suspected the quantity made about six servings.

I’m not sure I would use salami again. Perhaps if I bought a whole stick, instead of getting slices from the deli. Or tried harder to get the young woman in the deli to understand that I wanted the slicer opened up all the way to cut a slab rather than “thick” slices. Or maybe if I hadn’t added the optional tomato puree. As is, I can’t really taste it at all.

The tomato puree transformed it into more of a thick soup or stew than the thick paste I had last time. It’s quite delicious still, but the flavor is predominantly tomato now.

I’m planning several more of these revisited posts in the next few weeks. My wikipedia rabbit hole that guides what I post here has come back to some ground I’ve visited before, and it’s nice to bring some of the older recipes back up to the top and try some of my optional ingredients. The plan once I get through a few revisited posts, is to delve into another round of exploring different version of the same dish as cooked in different countries- although It remains to be seen if I can actually find the recipes I need to make that work. Most of the recipes I’m looking at for the near future are much simpler, with more readily available ingredients, than the feijoada recipes I’ve been cooking for the last year or so, so hopefully I’ll get back to posting every week or ten days, rather than the once a month or less pattern I’ve been on recently. (No promises though.)

Keep reading below for the original fagiolata post.


A bowl of fagiolata- beans, sausage, and vegetables, with bread.

fagiolata f (plural fagiolate)
bean soup, bean stew
bellyful of beans


Fagiolata is Italian for “a belly full of beans”. Unsuprisingly, which a broad catchall name like that, there was barely any agreement between the recipes I looked at regarding what goes into Fagiolata. There seems to be agreement that it’s the Italian version of pork and beans, but beyond that it’s wide open. So my recipe is super basic (but incredibly delicious), with a long list of optional ingredients you can choose to add if you so desire.

I chose to cook this over fairly high heat with no lid, so most of the liquid evaporated, leaving my final prduct quite thick- it could have easily been eaten with a fork. Again, there wasn’t a clear trend in the recipes I looked at as to whether it’s a soup, a stew, or something thicker, so feel free to leave it soupy or make it as thick as you like.

One of the optional ingredients is fresh pasta. Technically that would probably make it “pasta fagioli”, but that’s really just a special version of “a belly full of beans”

For this batch I used canned beans and Johsonville Spicy Italian Sausage*. I simmered the sausage in boiling water for a few minutes before slicing it and adding it to the pot- I could have gone a while longer as it was still pretty raw in the middle when I cut into it, but I figured It was getting cooked more in the final dish. Next time I will likely try some kind of Salami for a different flavor.

I tested the recipe with a single can of beans, but I believe the ammount of dry beans I call for come out to closer to three cans when cooked. Luckily I think there was enough flavor in there to easily spread to the larger ammound without sacrificing flavor. This is really a perfect example of the kind of dish an Italian grandmother would hope to be cooking when extra guests show up- you don’t necessarily have to have all the ingredients to stretch it to feed more people. A few extra beans, maybe an extra tomato… or even just extra water and salt if that’s all you have. (I’ll come back and test this with the dry beans at some point. If you try this recipe before then please let me know how it turns out.)


Serves 2-6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 Minutes
Total: 1 Hour

5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
7 oz. fully cooked Italian sausage, salami, pepperoni, etc.
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz. fresh tomato, diced
1 can tomato
1 sprig sage
12 oz. water
4 teaspoons parsley, minced
1-3 (14 oz )cans cannellini beans, drained
12 oz. dry beans (cannellini, barlotti, etc), soaked overnight and boiled until tender
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste


4 cups tomato puree
Hot pepper oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
6 oz. fresh egg pasta
1 onion, 1 clove farlic, 1 stalk celery and 1 tsp salt, added while cooking dry beans.
2 bell peppers
8 ½ oz. minced beef
8 ½ oz. minced pork
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 ½ oz. canned tuna
½ glass white wine
1 teaspoon cumin

Heat olive oil in large skillet or soup pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft, about 8 minutes. Add sausage and cook about 2 minutes. Add garlic, sauté 1 min. Add tomato, sage and water. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Add parsley and cooked beans. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Season to taste.

A bellyful of beans. Mmmm delicious.

*I receive no compensation for mentioning this product.

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