Pasta e Fagioli

February 18, 2012

in Real Food

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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