October 30, 2012

Pasta E Fagioli (Slow Cooker)

Olive Garden is one of my husband's favorite restaurants.  There is one not too far from us and we go there occasionally for a treat.  He almost always orders the Calamari and the Chicken Scampi.  I like their soup, salad and breadsticks.  Pasta E Fagioli is my favorite soup at Olive Garden.  I can't wait to try this copycat recipe and see if I can make it at home!

Ingredients (printable recipe)
2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 onion, chopped small
3 carrots, chopped small
4 stalks celery, chopped small
2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes undrained ( I like Hunt's Petite Diced)
1 (15.5 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15.5 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained
2 (14.5 oz.) cans low sodium beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons black pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)--I used Franks RedHot Cayenne Pepper sauce
1 (24 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu Roasted Garlic)
8 ounces ditalini pasta
Directions
1. Brown beef in skillet.
2. Drain fat from beef and add to slow cooker with everything except pasta.
3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours*.
4. Cook pasta separately on stove, following package directions.
5. Add pasta to each bowl of soup before serving.
*I don't know if it's because my slow cooker is older, but I've found that it takes about an extra 2 hours of cooking time to get the carrots, onion and celery soft.

Makes 12-14 servings

Adapted from   Food.com

I like veggies chopped small when I make soup.
I've made this recipe 3 times now.  One of the times, I tripled this recipe and cooked it in my 22 qt. roaster oven. This gives you approximately 36 servings!  I made this huge batch for my freezer group, but this would also be great for entertaining a big group during the holidays.  Just add a fresh salad and some breadsticks and you have a whole meal.


The Results...
This Pasta E Fagioli did taste like Olive Garden's.  It was warm, hearty and very tasty!  Perfect for the chilly weather we've been having.

This recipe does make A LOT of soup!  It filled my 6 qt. slow cooker up to the very top.  I couldn't have fit another thing in there.  We happily ate this soup for two days.  But, next time I make this just for my family, I will freeze the leftovers for another meal.  Cook once and eat twice is another thing I like about this recipe.  It's a keeper!

Freezing soup is quite easy. After it has cooled, pour into a Gallon sized Ziploc bag.  Make sure it is completely sealed and lay flat on a baking sheet.  Label and put in freezer until solid.  Remove baking sheet and stack soup.  Then, just thaw and reheat.  Cook the pasta separately and add to the soup when it's hot and ready to serve.
This recipe is featured at:
Semi Homemade Mom  
I also share recipes at these linky parties.

17 comments:

  1. OMG that looks delicious! My husband is of Italian heritage and is THE PICKIEST about Italian food. If you say it tastes just like Olive Garden's then I will make this. Thank you Thank you!

    http://northernbellediaries.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lisette,
      I hope you and your husband like this as much as we did! Thank you for stopping by. :)

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  2. This looks amazing! I love the idea of freezing it the way you do too. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. This soup looks beautiful! And easy to make too! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

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  4. This looks exactly, like I used to eat it in Italy! It's amazing!
    Thank you for sharing this on Wednesday Extravaganza.
    Come back tomorrow to vote and maybe win a spot on my Wall of Fame!

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  5. I love pasta e fagioli! How come I never thought to freeze it before? I am pinning this to make for this weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Janine,
      I hope you enjoy it, too! Have a great weekend. :)

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  6. Love this! Found you at Show & Share Wednesday, pinned & followed :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jenn,
      I'm so glad you came over. Thank you for the pin and following! Have a great week. :)

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  7. This sounds good! And I am glad you can freeze it! Sarah from The Ease of Freeze!

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  8. We had this tonight it was delicious....mmmmmmmmmm

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  9. Replies
    1. Hi Kris,

      We're so glad you liked this recipe! Thanks for letting us know. Have a great week!

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  10. Do u add the pasta before freezing it?

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    Replies
    1. Good question. NO. I don't add the pasta before freezing. You could, but the pasta will most likely turn out soggy and I just really don't like soggy pasta. So, I freeze the soup without the pasta and then boil the pasta and add it to soup once it is reheated.

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  11. I'm thinking of making this soup. Do you use dried or fresh herbs in it? The recipe doesn't specify.

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    Replies
    1. I use dried herbs. I just made this a few days ago. It's still on of our family's favorite soups. Thank you for stopping by. :)

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