Italian Bean Soup with Mini-Meatballs {Pasta e fagioli inspired}
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
For the meatballs...
  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbl. cream
  • 1 Tbl. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
For the soup...
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 30-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup Marinara or tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans (such as Cannellini or Great Northern), drained and rinsed.
  • ½ lb. Ditalini dried pasta (or other small pasta)
To serve...
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley
  • drizzle olive oil
For the meatballs...
  1. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine all meatball ingredients, except meat. Add meat and gently mix until just combined. Form into small (3/4-inch diameter) meatballs, arrange on baking sheet. Should make 60 - 70 meatballs. Bake for 10 minutes and reserve. Meatballs will complete their cooking in the soup.
For the soup...
  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain and reserve.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in onion, carrots and celery; sauté until tender about 10 minutes. Add in garlic and seasoning and cook an additional minute.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add in drained beans and return to a simmer. Gently add meatballs to soup pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
To serve...
  1. Add a generous scoop of warm pasta to individual bowls, then cover with hot soup. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil
Recipe by Lemony Thyme at