Ina Garten Just Revealed the Store-Bought Ingredient She Swears By for Pasta e Fagioli

She's true to her word

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Ina Garten
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Ina Garten may tell us “store-bought is fine”…but we can’t help but wonder, is it really?

As it turns out, the Barefoot Contessa actually stays true to her famous adage. She recently revealed in an Instagram post that she has a favorite store-bought ingredient she uses to shortcut her recipe for pasta e fagioli: 16-bean soup mix.

“It snowed last night, so I started soaking beans for a big batch of pasta e fagioli that I finished this morning,” Ina captioned the post. “It’s a classic Italian soup with pasta and white beans, but I make it easier with a 16-bean mix.”

For the uninitiated, pasta e fagioli is a soup of pasta, vegetables and beans simmered in a rich, tomato-y broth. On a difficulty scale of beginner to pro-chef, it falls somewhere in the middle—there are a lot of ingredients and it cooks for a good bit of time, but it’s largely hands-off.

Ina’s suggestion of using 16-bean mix, such as this one from Goya (which you can find in any grocery store), eliminates some of the grocery and recipe prep, allowing you to just dump a bunch of beans in a pot for an overnight soak without measuring. Pretty ingenious, no? The Contessa’s recipe comes from Cooking for Jeffrey, her tenth cookbook that’s dedicated to her sweetie of a husband.

Psst: If you want another shortcut, try making the soup in the slow cooker.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...