Oh Sweet Jesus! I've never tried a copycat recipe before but this one was hands down a success!! I'm not really a soup eater when out at restaurants, but when I worked downtown a co-worker and I would often head to Olive Garden for the unlimited soup and salad lunch special. I prefer soups with substance so I opted for the pasta e fagioli and it was so good! Ever since my first day enjoying that fabulous soup I have longed to make it myself. Thanks to cdkitchen.com I was able to do so. This has been on my list of things to make for a while now, but the husband was on night work this week so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to make a big pot of soup and enjoy it for lunch and dinner all week. I scaled the recipe down to make 4.5 quarts and it filled my big pot up pretty well and would be plenty even for a small family. So for all those who were ever in search of a no-fail pasta e fagioli recipe, this is the one to try!
PASTA e FAGIOLI
1.5 tsp oil
1 lb ground beef
6 ounces onion, chopped
7 ounces carrots, slivered (I chopped)
7 ounces celery, diced
24 ounces tomatoes, canned, diced
1 cup cooked red kidney beans (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup cooked white kidney beans (I used 1 1/2 cups)
44 ounces beef stock
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 tsp parsley, fresh, chopped (I used dry)
2/4 tsp tabasco sauce
24 ounces spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu)
4 ounces dry small dry pasta (I used ditalini - I recommend cooking this separate and adding at after the soup is cooked)
1. Brown beef in oil in large 10 qt. pot until brown.
2. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Drain and rinse beans and add to the pot.
4. Add beef stock, oregano, pepper, parsley, tabasco, spaghetti sauce (and noodles if you choose to).
5. Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes (I simmered for about an hour and a half).
Notes: my soup turned out thicker because I cooked it longer and the pasta went in dry. It's still wicked good though!