Monday, October 11, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli

I told my husband this week that I am starting to make soup once a week now that the weather is more conducive to it.  He objects, constantly telling me that soup is not a meal.  Although last week when I made a copykat version of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana, he was more than thrilled. This recipe was compared to the Olive Garden's Pasta e Fagioli.  I wouldn't say it tastes the same by any means, but it's good!  It is a great hearty soup perfect for the fall! 

Pasta e Fagioli

2 tbsp. butter, divided
1 (20 oz.) package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed

64 oz. reduced-sodium beef broth
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. ditalini pasta

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pot and brown, crumbling as it cooks. Once the sausage is browned, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and discard any excess grease.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pot. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery, and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, 8-10 minutes. Return the sausage to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes with juices, stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, beef broth and tomato sauce to the pot. Add in all of the seasonings, stir well, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer at least 30 minutes.

Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes. Serve.

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