I had never heard of Pasta Fagioli until I met Scott and his sister-in-law, Dayna, made this a couple of times. It is absolutely wonderful so I was a little afraid to even attempt it.
I found a recipe for Pasta Fagioli and bought all of the ingredients last week on my shopping trip. Today, though, I kept thinking that hamburger meat would taste really good in it. Well, I guess that wasn't such an original idea because after doing some research, I saw that the Olive Garden puts hamburger meat in their version.
Here's what I started with:
Pasta Fagioli Recipe: (the original version that I found)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup uncooked spinach pasta
1 (15 oz ) can cannellini beans, with liquid
In large sauce pan over medium heat, cook celery, onion, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, red pepper and salt until onion is translucent. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes and tomato sauce, and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes. Add pasta and cook 10 minutes, until pasta is tender. Add undrained beans and mix well. Heat through. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Now on to the next recipe:
Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Recipe:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-1 1/2lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, slivered
1 large can tomatoes, canned, diced
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 can beef stock
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon parsley
1 dash tobasco
1 jar spaghetti sauce
4 1/2 oz dry pasta shell macaroni or other pasta
Sautee' beef in oil in large pot until beef starts to brown. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse beans and add to the pot. Also add beef stock, oregano, pepper, Tabasco, spaghetti sauce and noodles. Add chopped parsley (or dried). Simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes.
-I did a combination of both of these recipes. I used hamburger, carrots, celery, all of the spices from both recipes, both chicken and beef stock, tomato sauce instead of spaghetti sauce.
-I used 4 stalks of celery instead of 2. I had used the celery in an earlier recipe and I didn't want to throw out the rest of the celery.
-I grated about 1/2 cups of carrots instead of slivering.
Here's how I did it:
#1 I started off my chopping, dicing, mincing and grating all of my veggies.
#2 After I dethawed the hamburger meat, I put it on to get brown.
#3 I started added everything to the hamburger meat.
#4 I added in all of the spices. I didn't measure any of them out but just gave 5 or 6 shakes of each with the exception of the red pepper flakes in which I did just a pinch.
#6 Next, I added in the can of chicken broth.
#7 I drained a can of red beans and white beans and rinsed them off.
#8 I threw the beans in with everything else.
#9 The tomato sauce went in next. Even though the Olive Garden recipe called for a jar of spaghetti sauce, I opted for tomato sauce because that's what I originally bought on my shopping trip.
I loved this soup. I really think that I took the best parts of both recipes to come up with a fantastic mix. I definitely think that the hamburger meat is a must. It really added a lot of heartiness and took on the flavor of all of the herbs.