Pasta fagioli v2

Dinner for under £1: pasta fagioli

This easy and adaptable dish costs just 58p to make.

Dinner for under £1: pasta fagioli

Feeling the pinch before payday? Over the next few months, we're going to be sharing easy, delicious, comforting dishes that you can make for under £1 per serving. 

For the first in this new series, our food editor Gregor McMaster talks us through Pasta Fagioli – his go-to meal to make on a budget (AND it's 3 of you 5-a-day)... 

Gregor says: 'I learned how to make this when I worked in an Italian restaurant during my uni days. It's a brilliantly adaptable dish – feel free to substitute in leftovers or veg that needs to be used up. It's tasty, comforting and super-affordable!' 

Pasta Fagioli 


Ready in 40 mins 


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 reduced-salt vegetable stock cube made up to 700ml water.
  • 2tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tin tomatoes, broken up if whole
  • 400g tin mixed beans in water, drained and rinsed
  • 1tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 150g dried macaroni
  • 3 leaves Savoy cabbage (optional)
  • 25g grated Parmesan or other cheese, such as Cheddar
  • Basil leaves, to garnish (optional)



1. Fry the onion in 2tbsp olive oil.

2. Add the carrot and cook for 5 mins, adding the garlic for the last 1 min.

3. Add stock to the pan with the tomato purée, tinned tomatoes and mixed beans. Stir to combine.

4. Add the mixed herbs, macaroni, plus Savoy cabbage leaves (optional). Simmer, covered, for 25 mins, stirring occasionally, adding a splash of water if needed.

5. To serve, sprinkle with the Parmesan or other cheese, such as Cheddar, garnish with basil leaves (optional) and season with black pepper.


Want to give this recipe a go? Stock up on everything you need online or pop into your local store.