PASTA FAGIOLI WITH KALE – not a love story

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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. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    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!

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes – Angie's Recipes is an interactive blog dedicated to sharing yummy & creative recipes, helpful cooking hints and tips. Enjoy your visit and spread the word!
    Angie Schneider says:

    I don’t kale any more not because of its taste or colour, but its oxalate, which is bad for the kidney. The pasta looks good though.

    • V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
      V.M.Sang says:

      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.

  3. Jacqui Murray – Laguna Hills, CA. – Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Savage Land.
    Jacqui Murray says:

    I know you said the Parmesan was optional, but it sure looks like it would be a perfect addition to the taste.

  4. Time Traveler of Life – Where my Motor Home is! – Biography Creating worlds, characters, and wielding power like a madwoman, making my characters happy, sad, angry, and some of them with no redeeming qualities. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I sometimes laugh out loud when I am writing a scene, and I have been known to cry when one of my favorites has to die. I am a left-handed Gemini, what do you expect? Reading bedtime stories to my two children until they fell asleep or until they just told me to go away, was fun. Making up wild stories for my grandchild, and creating Halloween costumes from Cowboys to a Dragon, was another favorite thing to do. I missed that so much when they were grown, that I started writing. My yearly newsletters frequently were drafted third-person by my Love Birds, Miranda our motorhome, and by Sir Fit the White Knight, our faithful Honda. Throughout the years, some of my creative talents centered around writing letters of complaint expressing my displeasure with services or products. One crucial, at least to my Son, was a note to our local school bus driver petitioning her to allow him back on the bus. He was kicked off for making an obscene gesture at his buddy. I reminded her that it was not directed at her, and that “obscenity can be in the eye of the beholder,” kids use that gesture as a greeting. He rode the bus until he graduated. I loved driving my English teacher crazy. Leaving a “continued next week” at the end of my five handwritten pages required each week. He was one of many people that suggested I “do something about my writing.” I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks at the top of my class. After 30 years, in the trenches as a Real Estate Professional, I have found that truth is stranger than fiction. My books are filled with characters I met in that profession. Their names were changed to protect the guilty. Others were from people we met traveling around the country in Miranda, our Motorhome. I am married nearly 60 years to the love of my life, Shirl, and partner-produced two exceptionally talented children, and one grandchild who is our pride and joy.
    Time Traveler of Life says:

    Oh! Bernadette, I would love this dish, but the Kale is rich in K which doesn’t like Warfarin, however, it can be made with something else, or leave the kale out. Thanks for posting.

    • V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
      V.M.Sang says:

      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.

  5. cookingwithrips – Hello and welcome to my site! My name is Rips and I am thrilled to share my passion with you! I am just a girl who loves to bake and cook. It’s one of my favorite things to do and is rewarding in so many ways! It teaches me to be present and helps me relieve stress. I grew up watching both my parents cook the most delicious food you could possibly imagine! Cooking healthy food for each other was something we did for the ones we cared about. Shortly after, I picked up on that habit. I come from a Mediterranean background and I bring that to a lot of my recipes with lots of modern adaptations. I have been baking and cooking for over 15 years and truly find the most joy in it! I also recently wrote and self published my first recipe book called Ripsy's Recipe's on Amazon (I will link below). Ripsy's Recipes has some amazing healthy recipes with gluten free and vegan options that everyone can enjoy. I really wanted to create an easy to follow, non intimidating healthy recipe book for you to love. It truly is my go-to for quick, healthy, easy, delicious meals! The best part of making food is I get to eat it and feed my loved ones. I am very mindful of the ingredients I use in my recipes; at the same time; I still like to indulge in dessert! My dessert recipes are lower in sugar than in any recipe or store bought dessert you will ever find (and they taste amazing). As a result, my family and I get to enjoy it without the guilt. My greatest joy comes from sharing what I make with the people I care about most, and now, you will have access to that too. I hope you try my recipes and love them as much as my family and I do! Namaste Friends!
    cookingwithrips says:

    I lovee that you have fennel and kale in there! What a delicious recipe!

  6. Chef Mimi – As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!
    chef mimi says:

    I tend to use spinach instead of kale. It is tough as nails and spinach cooks so quickly! Great fagioli recipe!

  7. I’m not a lover of Kale either, however, this dish looks delicious. I love Swiss chard, I bet that would be good in this instead of the kale.

    • 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.

  8. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    the Painted Apron says:

    I rarely cook kale, but it is good stir fried with a lot of garlic…incorporating it with a good pasta is a great way to make it taste good!

  9. debrapurdykong – British Columbia, Canada – I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at
    debrapurdykong says:

    I’m a big fan of kale and we grow a lot of it in our garden. Thanks for the recipe idea!

  10. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons – Oakland, CA – I live in Northern California of the USA, splitting my time between our home and large garden on the coast in Fort Bragg and a smaller place outside San Francisco. I have always love spending time in the kitchen, sharing meals with family and friends. My English born mother was educated in France and ran one of the first traditional French cooking schools in Florida, I learned by being her sous chef and eventually teaching classes with her. Three years ago I was proud to earn my certificate as a Mendocino County Master Gardener, although I had already been gardening in Oakland (ornamental and veggies) for 25 years. There is always so much to learn. I am starting the garden in Fort Bragg and am looking forward to sharing my progress. My family on both sides have always gardened. I have fond memories of my grandparent's garden outside London; and digging potatoes with my father in his vegetable garden in Florida. My education is in microbiology; I worked in labs and biotech for 25 years, often traveling extensively for work. But even with a busy schedule I have managed to have a few of my own fresh vegetables in the back garden. Welcome and thank you for coming along.
    Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons says:

    I am not a kale lover either but it grows like weeds in my garden. It’s very sad. I keep trying.

  11. 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.

  12. Kristie – I am busy mom of 5 amazing children. I love cooking, reading books and traveling. I can't wait to share some of that with you.
    Kristie says:

    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. 🤷‍♀️

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