My Grandma’s Gluten Free Style: Pasta Fagioli

Growing up in an Italian family with a grandmother who could cook for days, I had my fair share of over the top meals that were made with lots of love and a hypnotizing aroma that would fill the whole house. My grandma was the first person who taught me how to cook and has filled my life with so much love. I am grateful for her every single day and so lucky that she still cooks me for me!

Back in the day my grandma would make me heavy dishes like pasta bolognese with loads of cheese. These days, it’s more like spaghetti squash, vegetables, and meatless marinara sauce. Over the years as my eating habits have changed, my grandma didn’t quite understand my new ways of eating. “What do you mean you don’t eat meat anymore?” Or “What the heck is gluten?!” Luckily, she really wanted to learn how to cook for me and transitioned her cooking to new and improved healthier meals.

Last month I was so surprised and almost fell out of my chair when she made me pasta fagioli. One of my absolute favorites growing up! I haven’t had a gluten free and meatless version in YEARS and she adapted her recipe to taste just as good as I remember it. Well I finally got the recipe down and wanted to share it with you! This is taking comfort food to a whole new level! Enjoy and please let me know if you try it!

Serve with a leafy green salad and feel free to play some Frank Sinatra while you make it.


  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 – 2 tbs dried basil

  • 2 tsp dried parsley

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, chopped

  • 1 lb white cannellini beans (cooked) or 2 cans of beans (I use the Eden Organics Brand)

  • 1 14 ounce can of tomato sauce

  • 1 quart of vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free small pasta (Try to find the least processed brand of gluten free pasta)

  • salt and pepper

  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)


Heat the oil in a deep pot and cook the onion, carrot, celery, and herbs until soft. Add the garlic and salt and pepper (to taste) and cook another minute. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and broth, and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a boil and then add the pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the pasta is al dente. Let soup rest for a few minutes until you are ready to serve.

MANGIA! Enjoy!

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