Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tasty Tuesday-Pasta Fagioli

So I have been hooked on the Pasta Fagioli  soup from Olive Garden ever since my friend 
Amy introduced me to it while our guys were deployed. Seriously I love it so much I ordered just soup and salad last time we ate there, NO pasta! This soup reminds me of a really well seasoned minestrone but with so much more. Needless to say I was hesitant to try and replicate it at home because I figured no copy cat would live up to the original. I did gather up my courage though and after hours of browsing through tons of similar recipes I found one that sounded close to the real thing and gave it a whirl. I figured my days of soup like weather were dwindling and I didn't want to wait to next year to try it out. And what do you was good! Really good, not exactly the same, but close enough that it curbed the craving. So here I am sharing my copycat recipe of Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli containing the modifications I made to it. Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients it is lengthy but not hard.

Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup
Here's what you will need: 

1 pound ground beef ( I used Italian sausage, and I think it made ALL the difference)
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, julienned (1 cup)
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup) finely!
2 cloves garlic, minced ( I used a tad bit more but I have a garlic addiction)
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes ( I only used 1 because I don't like chunks!)
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce ( I actually ended up using 3 cans! It just looked to think for my taste)
1 12-ounce can V-8 juice ( Don't substitute!)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano ( I increased all the following spices by at least double)
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditali pasta ( I will decrease this next time by at least a third if not half)
1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat.
Drain off most of the fat. ( I did not find it necessary to drain any fat, I needed it to saute the veggies)
2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour. ( this is vital, the longer you simmer the better the spices come out!)
4. About 50 minutes into simmer time, 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 5-10 minutes
and serve.
Serves 8.

I topped ours with fresh grated parmesan cheese and served with garlic breadsticks. SO authentic;) Enjoy!


Lisa said...

Wow! And I thought I was doing good because I made Chili Verde today. I also made the frosting for a Red Velvet cake. Lisa Dawn made the cake. It was all so yummy.

I might have to try your recipe to see if the girls like it. They like those kinds of things. However, it will all have to wait until I need groceries again as I lack two of the main ingredients (sausage and garlic :)

Rachel said...

Uh....I'm gonna have to come visit you to have it 'cause it's got waaaaay too many ingredients for me. I'm a 5-ingredients or less kinda gal :) Your scone THAT is my kinda cooking!!!

LOVE your regular blogs...just want to reinforce that in case you start to get tired :)

Clare said...

Ummm, I'm with R.D. Not only does it have like, a bajillion ingredients, it takes more than 30 minutes to prepare!:) Looks tasty though...

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