May 24, 2010

Clean out the fridge Pasta e Fagioli...

Some friends and I were discussing the Pasta e Fagioli from Olive Garden yesterday and so I got a "hankerin'" for it. I came home and scoured my pantry and fridge for stuff to make it and had almost everything.  The beans are the "non" authentic item in the mix.  I had to use my bean mix that I made up for vegetarian chili this weekend but it was still delicious!!! 

It is not a hard soup to make and it is hearty and nourishing with just a few specific ingredients you can whip up a pot in no time.  

I chopped up...

*   an onion
*   a shallot (had no garlic in the house which is weird)
*  three zucchini
*   four carrots

I set them aside while I browned a pound of ground beef but you can use turkey or sausage... whatever you like.  I had ground beef in the fridge that needed to be used so that is what I went with today.  If you want it vegetarian then just leave the meat out.  It is quite delicious that way, too.

I drained the beef and I tend to rinse it, too... it takes all the fat off and makes a much leaner soup.

I put the meat back in the pot and seasoned it with oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder and added a little olive oil but not tons.

Then I added the veggies and beans (about 2 cups or as much as you like) into the meat and cooked them until they started to soften a bit.

Once they were softened I added two large cans (28 ounces each) of small diced tomatoes and then filled the cans up once each with water to add, too.  I wound up having to add more water before putting the pasta in.

I added about 2 cups of cleaned spinach with stems removed and then two pounds of pasta.  You could choose to substitute a rice pasta if you want gluten free.  That would work great!  :)

Once you serve it up...

don't forget to top it with Parmesan.  You can also add some basil or parsley.

Once it is done you season it to taste.  I don't tend to over salt due to my husband's high blood pressure. 

Note... this recipe makes a sizable pot of soup so you might want to cut it in half or fourth if you are not serving a small army like I do each night.  LOL  


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