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Dining at an Italian restaurant in America, it’s often quite difficult to locate a vegan dish among the meat and cheese-laden offerings.  However, in Italy, menus abound with naturally-vegan foods.  Minestrone, Bruschetta, Penne Arrabbiata, Spaghetti Pomodoro, Insalata, Pizza Marinara… it’s oft been said that one cannot eat a bad meal in Italy!

One of my Italian grandmother’s favorite dishes—which just so happens to be vegan—is Pasta e Fagioli.

From the internet: Pasta fagioli or Pasta e fagioli, meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional meatless Italian peasant dish that is now a frequent menu item throughout the world. Like many other Italian favorites, the dish started as a peasant dish due to cheaply available beans and pasta. Today it can be widely found, even in restaurants that don’t feature Italian cuisine. The base is generally olive oil, garlic, minced onion, and spices, along with stewed tomatoes or tomato paste.  The consistency of the dish can vary. Depending on the dialect of Italian being used, the word fagioli may be pronounced as it is spelled, or closer to fazul. A 1927 song by Van and Schenck capitalizes on this latter pronunciation in the rhyme, “Don’t be a fool, eat pasta fazool.”

For this CCK “Raw” Pasta e Fagioli, it’s a far cry from the true Italian version—let’s face it; authenticity went out the window when I wanted to make the recipe raw.  (Of course I completely forgot that canned beans aren’t raw, so it isn’t truly a raw recipe anyway.  Oh well, I tried!)

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Tomato Sauce

(serves 1)

  • 1/2 cup canned beans, drained (The beans in the picture are kidney beans, but I also love Cannellini)
  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized with a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler (or you can use regular pasta)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste (For a sweeter sauce, try using ketchup)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Optional ingredients: olive oil, chopped garlic, and/or spices (I like to add Italian seasonings)

Procedure: Blend all of the ingredients (except the noodles), using your blending gadget-of-choice (I use the Magic Bullet).  Pour over the noodles.  As my Italian Mimi would say: “Mangia Mangia, Bambino!”

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Above, after mixing the sauce with the noodles

Below, pre-stirring

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. MarathonVal says:

    That’s so interesting that it is easy to eat vegan in Italy…. as a very recent vegan, we are planning out first trip to Greece and Italy next summer and I was just thinking it would be very hard to eat well there!! Haha I guess I just have to get a good dictionary so I can translate “no meat no dairy no eggs”!

  2. Jessica says:

    That’s one of my fav’s too! I’m Italian, so I’m not totally impartial, hehe!

  3. That sauce looks so delicious- the beans must make it so creamy!

  4. Maria says:

    LOL at blend and snap 😉 You’re too cute!

    When I see pasta e fagioli I’ll be sure to order it now!

  5. Yum yum and more yum. The noodle dish sound fantastic…and the Mountain Mint Wild Bar…my favorite raw bar hands down! Now, if only I could afford the $5 price tag. :(

  6. buffmuffy says:

    ooo that salad looks great!
    i love the wildbars. yum!
    -muffy

  7. Shelby says:

    Fabulous recipe!

    Ooo and I spy a mint Wildbar! YUM!

  8. Sagan says:

    I bet homemade ketchup would be great in it!

  9. Meredith says:

    I do a lot of modifying at Italian restaurants to get something vegan — the servers usually look at me like I’m crazy lol.

  10. She-Fit says:

    Oh wow… this looks delicious. have a great weekend!!!!!

  11. That sauce looks absolutely scrumptious!

  12. Marianne says:

    Leave out that tomato, and I’d be all over that 😀 So simple!

  13. I love your zucchini noodles dish. Now I really want a
    Spiralizer… :)

    Have a great weekend!

  14. Peasant dishes rock, between the Italian pasta e fagioli and the French ratatouille!!! But oh wow, this recipe idea is fantabulous sounding and so simple! I love how you can made delicious combos quickly, uniquely, and simply. You have talent, fo’ sho’.

    WILD BARS! I must locate those — I can’t wait for your review!!! I’m impatient for it already. :)

  15. WholeBodyLove says:

    It’s always interesting to read the history of a dish. Food for peasants…but so delicious.

  16. Luna says:

    Katie, that’s fun, I used to think that italian meal are all but vegan … just a piece of advice, when in Italy and having baked goods (bread, pizza, “grissini” etc…) always check the ingredients list / ask someone to see if they use “strutto”, unfortunately they put it everywhere!!!!(strutto is pig’s fat, “lard” in english I think :( )

  17. This is a great post! Fresh and tasty and a great new spin on an old favorite.

  18. Ricki says:

    Great way to use zucchini noodles–I’ve never had authentic pasta e fagioli, if you can believe it, but I think I might like this one better!

  19. monica says:

    Katie PLEASE stop with the teasers!! I NEED me a spiralizer-I really wanted your favorite things when you gave those babies away as you know, but a spiralizer is up ther on my list and all this zuchinni pasta bussiness is making me extremely jealous.:)
    On second thought-just don’t have a big give away, how bout just a give to me?:) love you, love your show-bye!

  20. Christina says:

    Pasta e Fagioli is one of my favorites too. Love how you recreated it!

  21. broccolihut says:

    Must find Spiralizer ASAP.

  22. Julie says:

    Yum, yum, that seems so delicious !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Alana says:

    I put EVERYTHING over raw zucchini noodles…wonder what chocolate concoction can go over them?!?!?! hmmmm… ANYWAYS! The beans with ketchup was PERFECT! THANKS FOR ANOTHER GREAT ONE CCK!

  24. Maria says:

    Authentic Italian pasta is not vegan…it has eggs in it.