Pasta Fagioli

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Since I forgot about it being my birthday this week, I had planned on cooking all four nights. I had planned to make Pasta Fagioli one of the nights but thought that today was a nice, cold day and what could taste better for lunch than some soup, right?

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.

#5 I transferred the mixture to a larger pot. I should have just started off in this one but I wasn't really thinking.

#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.

#10 I noticed that the mixture was cooking down so I ended up putting in a whole can of beef stock.
#11 I let this soup cook for about 45 minutes and then within about 10 minutes of serving, I through in a few handfuls of the spinach pasta.
The finished product . . .

I served it with a side of garlic bread.


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.
The one thing that I would definitely do differently is just to use either egg noddles, macaroni noodles or cavatelli. I used spinach pasta because that is what the original recipe called for; however, it really offered no taste value and it was a little odd to work with. The only spinach pasta I could find at the store was a spinach fettucine so, of course, they were longer noddles. I tried to break them up the best I could but some of the noodles were still pretty long. It didn't change the taste of the dish but I just think it would have looked better with smaller noodles.


Team Tezzy said...

This looks really good, and I love a good soup in the winter. The only pasta fagioli I've ever seen is the one here at the cafeteria at MoBap. I've never tried it, though, because it looks & smells disgusting... it's also a cheesy looking blend rather than this tomato-ey blend. I might give this a whirl this weekend!

April Westerhold said...

It is really, really good. You can top it off with some Parmesean. I would say it is pretty excellent, actually.

Team Tezzy said...

I'm trying to decide what noodles to use. I think maybe egg noodles, but I wonder what spinach & cheese tortellini would be like. (We love tortellini in our house!) What do you think?

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