Monday, January 31, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli - Olive Garden style

Snow days.

Ah, how I love snow days. When I was little, snow days meant hours of reading Babysitters' Club, playing Oregon Trail, and maybe venturing out to throw some snowballs at my sister.

Now, snow days mean sleeping in, catching up, cleaning my house, baking bread, and fixing a big pot of soup.

Tomorrow is a snow day - I got a head start on the soup. :-)

I love Olive Garden's pasta e fagioli soup - it's kind of an Italian chili. This is seriously a perfect copy of that recipe. Love it!

Start by browning 1/2 lb Italian sausage and 1/2 lb ground beef.

Chop up some carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. You'll need about a cup of each veggie, and 2 cloves of garlic.

Toss these in the pot with the browned meat, and let them hang out for about 10 minutes. Good things will happen.

Pour in two 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes, one 15-oz can of tomato sauce, another 8-oz can of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup water, a tablespoon of vinegar, one can of great northern beans, and one can of red kidney beans.
Mix it all together and add one teaspoon each of basil and oregano, then half a teaspoon of thyme. Salt and pepper the soup, and let it groove (a.k.a. simmer) for about an hour.

About 10 minutes shy of the hour mark, boil some water and cook the pasta to go in the soup. The original recipe suggested ditali pasta, but HyVee didn't have any, so I just got some small shells. I used a 7 oz box.

Toss these in and stir to combine.


I happened to have some fresh parmesan on hand, so I grated some on top of the soup.

This is a perfect winter meal, and so easy to throw together!!
Here's the link to the original recipe.

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