Dennis went fishing, so Shugs and I spent the day cooking.....Pasta e Fagioli! It's my favorite soup at Olive Garden and it's one of my favorite soups to cook....quick, easy, simple ingredients and delicious! This recipe is in my cookbook, too......here it is:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion diced (1 cup)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 1 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can red kidney beans with liquid
- 1 15 ounce can great northern beans with liquid
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 12 ounce can V-8 juice
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ pound ditalini pasta
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Start by sauteeing your ground beef in your favorite soup pot. Add the onion, celery and carrot (called a mirepoix in French) and lightly saute them, then add the garlic, salt and pepper.
After the garlic had a few minutes to soften, I added my herbs....
You'll notice that I used more garlic than the recipe called for....of course! Also, there appears to be quite a bit more herbs than noted in the recipe....that's because I used fresh herbs. If you use the dried herbs, follow the amounts in the recipe....or add more if you like extra flavor like me. Then I added the tomatoes, tomato sauce, the parmesan rind, kidney beans and white beans. I let it simmer on low for about an hour. About 15 minutes before the sauce is done, bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and about a cup of the ditalini. I couldn't find ditalini toady, so I used amellini, which is just smaller. Any small pasta will do, but to give you an idea, this is what ditalini looks like:
Once they were done, I drained them and added them to the soup.......then it's time to eat! Oh wait, don't forget to dish out the remaining Parmesan cheese rind! I grated fresh parmesan cheese over the top of my soup and sat down with a glass of wine to enjoy. It was delicious! It keeps well in the fridge....you can even freeze it, but we usually eat it before that can happen!
While my soup was cooking, Shugs took a nap........and I put some autumnal touches on the front porch! It was a great day and now it's time to put on my PJs and sit back with my new book. I just love fall!!!!!