With the bitterly cold weather we've been having this week, soup seemed like the perfect choice for dinner this past Sunday. I had found this recipe on Tricia's blog and knowing that Joe likes pasta e fagioli it easily found a spot on my menu. And I'm glad it did - this soup was delicious! It's super easy to make and just requires about an hour total of simmering time. Be warned though - this makes a TON of soup. Joe and I each had a large bowl but ended up with two giant tupperwares full of leftovers. I shared some with my parents, but we are more than happy to eat the remainder for dinner again this week. Warm, hearty and full of flavor, this is just a great soup, especially when served with some crusty bread. I followed the recipe almost exactly, but found that I didn't have much liquid. I even added an extra can of beef broth and still had a very thick soup. Not a bad thing, but if you prefer more liquid in your soup you may want to cook the pasta separate and add it into the soup to prevent it from absorbing too much liquid. But don't wait to make this - especially on a cold evening!
Pasta e Fagioli (copy cat Olive Garden)
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1/2 of a small 1 lb. bag of baby carrots, chopped
5 stalks of celery, diced (I omitted)
2 (14.5 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (32 oz.) carton + 1 (14.5 oz.) can of beef broth (I also used an additional can of beef broth)
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped (I used dry)
3/4 tsp tabasco sauce
1 jar (1 lb. 10 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup dry small pasta (such as ditalini or elbow macaroni)
salt to taste
Brown ground beef in oil. Drain if necessary.
Add onion, carrot, celery and diced tomatoes. Simmer 10 minutes.
Add beans, beef broth, oregano, pepper, parsley, tabasco sauce and spaghetti sauce.
Simmer soup on low for about 30-45 minutes until carrots are almost tender.
Add pasta to pot and simmer on low for about 15-30 minutes until pasta is just shy of al dente. As the soup cools, the pasta will absorb the broth. You can cook the pasta separate and add it to the soup after the soup has cooled.