Pasta e Fagioli
Throughout my tenure as a server at the Olive Garden, I had what seems like millions of breadsticks and at least 100,000 bowls of soup. This soup at the OG is a lot like chili, but with an Italian twist. This recipe recreates it pretty well, with a few punched up ingredients.
Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli
- 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup) (I buy pre-shredded carrots)
- 3 ribs celery, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 14.5-oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained (I used San Marzanos this time, and they were amazing)
- 15-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cups vegetable juice (I used V8)
- 15-oz. can red kidney beans, undrained
- 15-oz. can great northern beans, undrained
- 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 4 oz. (1 cup) uncooked ditalini pasta (I used small shells)
- freshly grated parmesan and croutons or garlic toast for garnish
Brown the ground beef, in a stock pot, stirring to break it up until no longer pink and cooked through; drain off any drippings.
Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery to the pot; cook, stirring, 5 to 6 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Add remaining ingredients (except pasta); reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. When there are just 10 minutes of cooking time left, prepare the pasta as package directs for al dente noodles; drain.
Add pasta to soup and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.