Martin’s friend Martin (yep, another Martin) works at the Olive Garden. In discussing Olive Garden it got me thinking about their lunch special; Antipasto and Pasta e Fagioli. Their soup is so delicious!! I went online and checked to see if I could find a copycat recipe (like I did with Chick Fil A) and found this one. I did make one change and instead of using white vinegar I used balsamic vinegar. If you know me, you know I absolutely love balsamic vinegar. Anytime I can substitute, I do! 🙂 This was really flavorful and made enough for left overs, which were also delicious. I am sure you could cut the recipe in half and it would be just great. ENJOY!!
Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup or Just Bean Soup)
1# ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 large carrot, julienned
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15 oz can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 12 oz can V8 juice
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 package ditali pasta
1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
4. Cook pasta.
5. Add the pasta to the pot of soup, mix and serve.
I do not add pasta to any soups I make. I add it to the bowl of soup as I serve it. The reason I do this is I don’t like how the pasta can get very starchy if left over night in the soup. If you make 1/2 this recipe or if you are serving a larger crowd and make this entire recipe you could add pasta to the soup and serve. Also, I happen to enjoy the soup without the pasta. 2 meals in one!! Either way, this soup is Simple and Delicious. CIAO!!