Now that the Fall is here, I get a hankering for cooking soups.
One of my favesies soups ever is the Pasta e Fagioli from Olive Garden.
(P.S. in case you are wondering, that’s Pasta and Beans in American speak.)
I examined the ingredients, tried to pick out the spices…and came home to search for recipes online.
None of them were what I was looking for.
In fact, some were downright gross!
So, I tweeked and added and experimented.
The Pasta e Fagioli I had pined over!
Now, let me tell you:
The ingredients list looks long.
But don’t freak out.
Most of them are cans. And spices you already have in your drawer.
And this makes A LOT. Definately gonna have leftovers. Unless you’re the Duggars.
Ground beef not pictured. Because it was in the microwave defrosting. Don’t judge.
Wondering what Great Northern Beans are? They’re these little white guys. I spent like 10 minutes in the bean aisle looking. But they are there. Sneaky little things.
Brown your ground beef. Drain the fat. Because that makes this magically healthy.
Don’t you wish you could watch ALL fat just slide down the drain? Sigh…
Or, if you’re like me, you pull out some baby carrots you already have in the crisper drawer and chop them up.
Dice your onion. And your celery too. That is, if you actually have celery on hand. Which, I did not. Oops.
In the bottom of your pot, combine the beef, carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Sautee. (you may need to add a touch of olive oil to help)
While you are sauteeing, cook up your sausage. I always use spicy linguica. A Portuguese sausage in an Italian soup. I like it. Besides, I always have linguica on hand. Always.
Admire your pretty red Le Creuset pot. And no Joy, you’re not the only one. ;)
While you are sauteeing and sausaging, open up your cans. This is tough stuff folks.
Impress your friends and family with Organic Free-Range Chicken Broth.
Don’t tell them you only bought it because it was on sale. That ruins the fancy.
Dump all the ingredients into your pot. Cans, vinegar, sausage and spices. (But NOT the pasta!)
I feel that now is the time we need to talk about the Cayenne in this recipe.
I like spicy foods. But if you don’t, or plan on feeding this to your kids, you might want to hold off on it.
Or not add as much.
People love the kick. But I have watched lesser mortals sniff and sweat between spoonfuls.
“This is SO good!” ::sniff, sniff :: “I love it!” ::wipe forehead:: “yummmm” ::sniff::
Believe it or not, but that little 3/4 tsp. packs a punch. There’s my public service announcement for the day.
Add water as you see fit depending on how “stew”-ey vs. soupy you want this to be.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
About 20 minutes into your simmer, cook your pasta separately. Sorry, no picture. But if you’ve gotten this far, I’m pretty sure you got it.
Ladle soupy goodness into a bowl. Add pasta. Top with parmesean cheese.
And serve with bread. Always serve with bread. Because I’m Portuguese and eating soup (or much of anything really) without bread is blasphemy.
And maybe a box of tissues on the table too.
(When you store the leftovers, make sure you store the pasta separately, or it’ll soak up all your soup!)