Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The EASIEST Pasta Fagioli recipe

My family loves soup. When the season changes from summer to fall, and the air just begins to turns crisp, the first thing on my menu is soup. It is such a comforting and filling food, especially in the cold months. However, we love soup all year around. Pasta Fagioli is always a favorite in my house, and this recipe is awesome. It's unbelievably rich, thick, and hearty....everything you could ask for in a bowl of soup. It's full of beans, veggies, and pasta....so good! The best part is that this soup is crazy easy to make. You've got to love that!

There are a bajillion recipes for Pasta Fagioli on line, and they are all very similar. I've had this recipe forever, and I don't even remember where I got it. This recipe reminds me very much of the Pasta Fagioli at Olive Garden. I often will stop and pick up a package of the Olive Garden breadsticks to serve along with this soup when I make it. This is a pretty good runner-up.

Pasta Fagioli-
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, julienned
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (16 oz) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (10 oz) cans beef stock
1 (20 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, optional 
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons oregano
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons pepper
8 oz Ditalini  pasta.  (Sometimes, I use small elbow macaroni if that is what I have in the pantry.)

1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat.

2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes.

3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.

4. About 50 minutes into the simmering, cook the pasta in 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of boiling water over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or just until pasta is al dente, or slightly tough. Drain.

5. Add the pasta to the large pot of soup. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more and serve.

6. If you like your soup a little thinner, add water or more beef stock until it's the right consistency.

I serve this with shredded Italian blend cheese, garlic bread (or Olive Garden breadsticks), and a salad.

This recipe makes a ton of soup. I usually make this in a very large stock pot and will freeze half of it.
If you want a smaller amount, cut the recipe in half. Also, if you make the full recipe and plan to freeze some, divide the soup before you add the noodles. Freeze the soup without the noodles so they won't become mushy. I usually cook fresh noodles to add to the soup when I plan to thaw the frozen batch to eat.


Here is a lunch I made with the Pasta Fagioli.

                                                           Cuddle Palz bear lunch

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