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Pasta e Fagioli

February 18, 2012

It’s no secret that Olive Garden is one of my favorite places to eat. I remember my first taste of the breadsticks, the Zuppa Toscana, the Alfredo. I have many memories from college days when we would drive an hour into Memphis just to eat at Olive Garden. Stephen and I had our first date there. He ordered a cappuccino for me and I haven’t looked at coffee the same. While I always ordered the rich potato sausage soup, he liked the tomato based pasta e fagioli. I remember sneaking a spoonful while slowly falling for him on a hot summer night in Memphis.

I’ve made this several times and it’s an absolute favorite. It’s a copy cat recipe similar to Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli soup. It’s hearty, healthy, and delicious. I found the recipe and changed a couple of things. The original recipe is at Top Secret Recipes. 


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, sliced (1 cup)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
  • 1 15-ounce can great northern beans (with liquid)
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditali pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. About 40 minutes into the simmering, add the dry pasta and let simmer.
  5. Serve, top with parsley
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1 Lee February 19, 2012 at 8:26 am

I used to love the Olive Garden…until I worked there! Not that there was anything wrong with it then, but I just got sick of the food. The Andes mints were always good though.

2 Katrina February 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

I could eat those mints by the handful. I know you can get them at the store, but I tried to save them for OG trips. Stephen worked at a philly steak place for a year. He won’t eat them now because of the same reason.

3 Jo February 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm

This looks absolutely delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at foodepix.com.

4 Katie February 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

WOW–this looks and sounds amazing. I love Olive Gardens Pasta e Fagioli and can’t wait to make this!

5 Marti Muldrew February 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm

It’s better with Italian sausage. If you’re watching fat content and your weight, try turkey Italian sausage.

6 Ashley October 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I made this using your recipe a few months ago. It’s was strangely better leftover lol. Maybe because the flavours had more time to blend together…I don’t know. Anyway, it was absolutely delicious. I can’t stop thinking about it and I’ll definitely be making it again soon!

7 Ree October 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I made this last Christmas for my son and his family, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. I am some times nervous when introducing a new recipe, but this was a hit. I used ground turkey instead to help cut back any fat. It is so delicious and hearty and good for you too. I’m looking forward for the weather to change so I can warm up with this soup. Thank you for the recipe.

8 Ashley November 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

I made this again over the summer for my teenage cousin who was visiting from Florida. I just got a message from her mom tonight asking me for the recipe because Azaria has been begging her to make it since she got home! I still say it’s better left over, but this is seriously one of my favourite recipes ever! I don’t change a thing about it!

9 Katrina November 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm

What a huge coincidence! I have not made this since last winter, but I had already planned to make it for a group function at my house the day after you posted this! It was a huge hit. Thank you for the feedback 🙂

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