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Pasta fagioli is a traditional Italian dish whose name means “pasta and beans”. This traditional dish pairs perfectly with fresh ground elk meat, which is what was incorporated into this recipe!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Servings: 8

*recipe derived and modified from allrecipes


  • 1 pound ground elk (or ground meat of your choice)

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1 stalk celery, diced

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 tsp. minced garlic

  • 1 (32 oz.) bottle tomato-vegetable juice cocktail (such as V8 – you can use more if the bottle is larger than 32 oz., just not less)

  • 14 oz. chicken broth

  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley

  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil

  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano

  • 2 cups ditalini pasta

  • 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook ground meat until thoroughly browned.

  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan and sauté carrot, celery, and onion until vegetables are softened. Add in garlic and sauté until fragrant.

  • Stir in vegetable juice cocktail, chicken broth, and parsley/basil/oregano.

  • Bring mixture to boil then reduce to simmer. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook ditalini pasta to desired doneness, strain, and set aside.

  • Stir cannellini beans and ground meat into soup. Cook until heated through.

  • Serve by spooning pasta into bowl and top with soup. Enjoy!