“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.