Sunday, October 19, 2008

Soup's on Saturday - Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli

We don't eat out often. It has to be either a very special occasion or, usually, fast food :-(. But it is still generally less than once or twice a month. If I do eat out, one of my favorite places is the Olive Garden. And when we go, all I usually want is the soup, salad and bread sticks. Although all the soup options are yummy, Pasta Fagioli is my favorite.

So this week I found myself with some left over, cooked, plain macaroni noodles. It was time for something other than chicken.... so I start ponder.... and it comes to me that Pasta Fagioli would be the answer. A quick google search sends me to CDKitchen's recipe for the Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli! I really liked this site, not only for the recipe, but that it also converts the measurements to suit your family or an army. It started out with a yield of 9 quarts, which is a little more than my family is likely to eat, but 3 quarts was just right.

Here is what we threw together (as I adapted it to what I had in my kitchen. If you want to go to the link above for the precise ingredients and amounts):

1 lb ground beef
1/2 diced white onion
1 large carrot slivered
2 stalks celery diced
6 diced fresh tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups beef broth from granuals
1 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp ground pepeer
1/4 c fresh parsley chopped
1/2 tsp tobasco sauce
3 cups prepared spagetti sauce
3 cups of cooked macaroni noodles

Cook beef. Add onion, carrots, celery and cook till tender. Add tomatoes, sautee for 2-3 min more. Add beans, broth, seasonings and spagetti sauce. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add noodles, cook for 5 minutes more. Serve with parmesean / romano cheese ontop and crusty bread on the side.

Notes: I used garbanzo beans, since it was on hand, but were not as tender as I would have liked. I would use white beans next time. I keep the beef broth granules on hand and didn't have any "real" broth, which I would have prefered. Loved the tabasco sauce, inportant ingredient, but becareful not to use too much unless you really want a kick! Obviously, your flavor will also change if the prepared spagetti sauce has strong seasoning.


  1. I feel so priviledged to have tasted this yummy soup. You did a great job on it.

    Who needs Olive Garden when we have Sarah's Garden!

    Right, Emily!? ;)

  2. I got to taste it too - so delicious!!! :) I can't wait to recreate it at my house! I'm pretty much positive it will be a big hit!

  3. I am so going to make this... that is the only thing I ever want at Olive Garden when I go there. Well, and breadsticks... and salad... and pasta. Shoot. Ok, but its one of my favorites!!!


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