PASTA FAGIOLI WITH KALE – not a love story

Hi there,

This is another vegetable tale. Do you remember my writing about how long it took to embrace eggplant? Well, I did finally start a romance with aubergines. I mean, how can you resist a vegetable with that fancy title and royal color. Now, I am trying to embrace kale. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an awesome name or gorgeous color. It is just plain Jane green and tough as nails. But, I am trying. Now pasta fagioli – that’s another story. Pasta fagioli can take a seat at my table any time or day. So, I figured I would be a matchmaker and combine the pasta fagioli and the kale. It turned out pretty tasty but I think I still would have preferred spinach! But if you are a kale lover, you will enjoy this recipe.


Even Angels Eat Beans (Anche gli angeli mangiano fagioli) – Movie Quotes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced fennel
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Calabrian pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds kale, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and Aleppo pepper
  • 1 cup canned white cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound ditalini
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


  • Pour the oil into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Then add the garlic, Calabrian pepper , and half of the kale. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Dump in the tomatoes and the rest of the kale. Season with a pinch of salt. Cover the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add the beans and cook until warmed.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for one minute less than the directions on the packaging. When done, drain the pasta and toss it into the pan with the kale. Turn the heat to high and cook for an additional minute.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with Parmesan if using, and serve.

Talk soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette

35 responses to “PASTA FAGIOLI WITH KALE – not a love story”

  1. This looks really good! I have to admit, I usually turn toward spinach or chard before choosing the kale, but when it is prepared right, it is a nice addition. My niece makes a delicious kale salad, but she has to massage the hell out of it first!

    • That’s interesting. My husband has a kidney disease, and he enjoys kale. It’s not on his list of foods to avoid, but maybe we should cut it out of our diet. We don’t have it often, though. The doctors seem more concerned with potassium levels.

    • Ah! It’s high in K, too. What my husband should avoid, then. Again, it’s not on his high K foods list. Probably because not many people eat it.

      • I think it is definitely better without the kale. With parmesan cheese on top it is heavenly. Thanks for taking the time to read.

    • Diane, it is funny how many people don’t like kale. I think I am going to give up on it! Yes, chard would be lovely in this as well as baby peas or spinach.

  2. This looks like a great recipe, Bernadette! You can plant me firmly into the “kale lovers” column, but I do understand why some people can’t acquire the taste for it. I’m thinking your recipe will be possible in my slow cooker, and I have bought everything I need (including pre-washed kale) to give it a try in the next few days!

    • I am so happy to hear from you. I was starting to get worried. You can absolutely make this in your slow cooker. Your house will smell wonderful. I hope the new kitchen project is going well.

      • Kitchen project is nutzo but it will all be worth it! I can’t wait to try your dish and I’ll let you know how it goes. 😁

      • I’m sorry, Bernadette– my crazy kitchen remodel has kept me jumping and I didn’t realize you had commented on my pingback. I shared the link to your original recipe here when I described making it in the slow cooker, in the DINING room! Haha

        I followed your version of the recipe except for a couple substitutions. I don’t have Calabrian chile paste so I subbed in the Trader Joe’s “Bomba” and I only had a half bag of kale. It was really delicious and comforting!

      • Yes, the Bomba makes a great substitute. I am teach some high school classes next week and I am using this recipe. It is going to be so much fun.

  3. That looks really good. Kale isn’t my favorite either. I buy a bunch, intending to use it in everything. Instead I use a little in whatever recipe I’m making and then feed the rest to my chickens. 🤷‍♀️

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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