Simple San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Simple San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli

13 reviews / 4.8 average

This is the story of how I bought 5 ingredients from Trader Joe's and made one of my favorite dinners of all time.

The story begins with Lunch Envy as I watched my friend and coworker eat her saucy baby pasta with all those tiny chopped veggies in that creamy tomato base in the beloved teacher's lounge. The place where great lunch ideas are born, right? I asked for the recipe before she had even taken one bite. Like the recipe-hungry food-bloggin' girl that I am.

How To Make Our Pasta e Fagioli:

San Marzano peeled tomatoes.

To develop the story for you, things have been pretty crazy for us lately. Oh yeah, that's right, welcome to all of the lives of all the people in the world. WHY, you guys? Why do we do this to ourselves?

With the closing on our new old house which I have affectionately come to call our Yum Sweet Home (and which will be pictured in the next few days), and the out of town weekends for things like Holiday Baking Classes (rough. I know.), and the back-to-work Mondays with early morning meetings, and the late night cookie baking to keep caught up on the blog to keep sane, and the preparing for showings on our current home which = cleaning which = wahhh, I just don't even know. ALL OF THE THINGS. Time starts to feel slippery.

And then, I know you probably can't relate because you are beautiful home cooks who find time to make your families wholesome home cooked meals always no matter what, but we here in this home often find ourselves making up for lost time by eating things like toast and cereal and frozen Amy's organic meals. Which I could eat forever but it would still probably be good to cook once in a while.

Cereal be gone.

Simple dinner that has rockin flavor: come to me.

San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli in a blue dish.

Pasta e Fagioli just means pasta with beans, at least as I understand it after two seconds of Wiki reading. I added chicken sausage because, well, meat. So I claim no authenticity here, just a recipe that tastes great and takes very little time.

Trader Joe's was the perfect place to stop on my way home from work because I could pick up some high quality short cut ingredients like the aforementioned CHICKEN SAUSAGE and a newbie to my ingredient favorites: MIREPOIX.

San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli with spinach.

The chicken sausage that I bought was spicy Italian, made with red wine and Formaggio cheese. Um, what? How delicious is that?! (Very.) I just about burned my nose off cooking it - you know, when you cook spicy stuff and you end up basically choking? but then I settled down and ate a lot of it. Fast. It was so very yummms.

And then the mirepoix? Just a fancy word for chopped celery and carrots and onions that will be used as the veggie base here. TJ's hooked me up by chopping the veggies for me and packaging them in a little container and placing them in the produce section for my time-hungry eyes to see.

By the way, this is in no way sponsored by Trader Joe's. I am just over the moon excited that there's one open within 20 miles of my house and was so happy with how their ingredients worked in this recipe. Superfan.

San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli in a blue dish.

When this all cooks up, it's going to look like a lot of sauce at first. Really good sauce, made with San Marzano (aka best tasting high quality) tomatoes and a plethora of other veggies. Including my friend baby spinach who had been occupying a lonely shelf on the fridge and needed a good home.

But just when you're questioning whether you actually need this much sauce or not, you add the pasta - as it turns out, orecchiette from Trader Joe's will be a good choice - and the sauce just soaks right into the pasta and you're left with this velvety texture that is both saucy and thick. It's not like soup, it's like saucy pasta. Loaded with veggies. And red wine Formaggio chicken sausage.

You will love this.

Pasta in a white bowl.
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A picture of Simple San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli

Simple San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli


This yummy and simple San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli is so easy and FULL of flavor. A perfect delicious and comforting family dinner.


  • 1 lb. chicken sausages in casing. GO SPICY if u dare.
  • 1 1/2 cups mirepoix - chopped celery, carrot, and onion*
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can cannellini beans
  • 28 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 lb. small pasta - I used orecchiette
  • 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for topping


  1. Remove the chicken from its casing. In a large pot, brown the chicken sausage over medium high heat and drain the excess grease. Set aside.
  2. Crush the San Marzano tomatoes and sauce in a food processor and set aside. Drain the cannellini beans. Place in a food processor. Refill the can with water, add to the food processor, and puree until very smooth.
  3. In the same large pot as step one, saute the mirepoix, garlic, oregano, salt, and bay leaf (with a little olive oil if needed) until soft and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, pureed beans, and broth. Simmer for 20 minutes. Saucy.
  4. Add the pasta and simmer for another 20 minutes until pasta is cooked through as sauce is reduced. Throw in the baby spinach and the chicken sausage from step one. If needed, add water or broth to adjust the consistency of the pasta before serving. Top with cheese.
  5. Save some for lunch tomorrow. It makes awesome leftovers.


*You don't have to, but it really does save time to buy prechopped mirepoix (just carrots, celery, and onion). I bought some at Trader Joe's in the produce section and it was super fresh and cut down on prep time and number of ingredients I needed to buy on a busy weeknight! Thumbs up to that.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pasta e fagioli, san marzano tomatoes, pasta recipe

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a treat to get real good chicken sausage! I am huge fan of chilli, so what is described their is a normal night at my place. This is gorgeous and I love the clarity of all pasta ingredients even though it is robed in that delicious, sinfully good sauce!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Never trust Wikipedia. 🙂 Fagioli just means beans, not vegetables. This sounds really good but, because of the sausage, not the Lenten meal my mom would make.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wait, you are now teaching holiday baking classes?!? Come to Colorado! I want to attend! 🙂

    You are dang busy, girl! If you have secret on keeping up with things let me know! As for the past/soup? So gorgeous and perfect! I love San Marzano tomatoes and the ease of this is just perfect!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    This sounds amazing! The pasta e fagioli I make is also more like a pasta dish than a soup, and I love it that way.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    1) Only YOU can make a used up, dirty ol’ tomato can look gourmet and tantalizing. Serious talent, lady.
    2) “Mirepoix” sounds like chicken pox to me, but that’s just because I am not sophisticated and I don’t know French.
    3) Best snippet: “Time starts to feel slippery.” Amen, that’s my whole life right now… Which is why making time to cook and bake anchors me and puts a little grit under my feet.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    We’ve got a Trader Joe’s that’ll be opening up a few miles away from us sometime next year. When I lived in California I was at my local one at least twice a week – I can’t wait for them to open here in Colorado!!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      My thoughts exactly! Colorado now has a Trader Joes in the Denver area but the one opening in the suburbs is exactly what I am waiting for too.

      This meal looks delicious. I’ve never thought to add beans to my meat sauce, why not? Will be sure to try it.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your schedule sounds crazy. Exciting times though. Now chicken sausage is definitely something we don’t have in the UK but I’m thinking that the recipe would still work well without it. Also if your ever up for some gardening San Marzano tomatoes are wonderful to grow.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks amazing and totally makes me crave pasta right this second. TJ’s is the best, I actually wrote about that store in my blog post today haha! I love everything there, plus they’ve got the best nut prices in town, they are like holiday baking headquarters!!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I also am a Big Superfan of Trader Joe’s. And Mirepoix is reason #124. Super good base for soups. I never thought to puree the beans, but that’s a really good idea. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I can’t wait to make this but what does 374grams equal in cups? For serving size.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yes to fagioli! It really is a lifesaver when you’re busy and chilled and in need of immediate dinner. I usually make mine entirely vegetarian, but now I’m intrigued by the idea of chicken sausage! Must try. 🙂

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Some how this makes me feel better about feeling like life is just running on fast forward–all the time–can’t keep up!
    Getting the mirepoix is such a wonderful idea. I wish our TJ’s was closer, but I’ll definitely have to make a stop before I go home from work sometime this week. I know this is one of those dishes that my whole family (even the veggie hating 2 year old) would gobble up!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes, and if you can’t make it to TJs I think lots of regular grocery stores carry both pre-chopped mirepoix and yummy chicken sausage.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m confused about the beans + water. Do you mean add one can of (drained, rinsed) beans and one full can of water to the food pro? Or do you mean drain & rinse beans, pour back into can and then fill with water then add to food pro. One results in much more water than the other… thanks!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks for the question. I mean drain the beans, then refill with water, then puree. I’ll add that to the recipe instructions.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looks belly-warming & comforting! Did you buy chicken sausage links & remove the meat from the casings? Or buy ground chicken sausage in a package (not sure if I’ve seen that at TJ’s…and also not sure if I’m being clear)?

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love pre washed, pre cut veggies (especially butternut squash). It’s such a treat to give yourself a break once in awhile. Moving is the hardest thing ever, so you have every right to feel very busy. Love the pasta 🙂