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Volume III
February, 2013

Newsletter Home / Table Talk

Olive Garden Copycat: Pasta E Fagioli

By Sharon Ng

At the tail end of winter, this soup is deliciously filling. The recipe provided also makes enough for several people. I think it serves about six in my family, but it all depends on how big your servings end up. It tastes close enough to the real thing that in a blind taste people really can't tell the difference. The recipe is very forgiving, and I think it would lend itself well in a crockpot. It reheats well, and to reheat the recipe, I save the remainder of the canned broth, I add the broth to make the soup soupy again, after it has absorbed the liquid.

Pasta E Fagioli

1 cup pasta, uncooked (my preference is for Macaroni salad noodles)
1 pound Italian sausage (either ground, or removed from the casings)
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove minced garlic
3 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 cups beef broth (this is one and a half cans of broth, I save the rest of the broth for thinning the soup later)
1 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomato, undrained
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cook sausage in skillet and set aside. In Large stockpot sauté carrot, celery and onion using a little olive oil, until onion is translucent and veggies are tender. Add garlic and sauté for 45 seconds. To this mixture, add tomato sauce, broth, water, canned tomatoes, and all spices. Salt and pepper to taste (or wait and do that at the end), changing heat to low. Cover and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes or so. Cook pasta (to al dente, as it will finish cooking in the soup). Add cooked pasta to the soup in the stockpot, as well as the beans and allow to heat through. Add additional broth as desired. The soup is very forgiving. This soup is very robust, and has just the right kick of spice, in my opinion, but you can use your favorite hot sauce to spice things up a bit.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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This recipe is great when paired with a side salad and breadsticks (though, you don't really get the unlimited version at home, since you are doing the work). I find this recipe to be a great option when I am doing a canned food storage rotation as well, as it gets rid of beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth. You can change the meat to ground beef or even another kind of sausage or even chicken, change the pasta, change the broth, even pick diced tomatoes that are already spiced. Whatever choices you make, this is the recipe I use, and I promise you that you will impress those you are feeding.


Sharon Ng
Monthly Newsletter Contributer since 2012

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