Showing posts with label pasta fagioli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pasta fagioli. Show all posts

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Pasta Fagioli, #Copycat Olive Garden-style #crockpot #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I know what you are saying: When is this poor woman going to get her oven back so she can get off the crockpot kick? For almost two months, I desperately wanted the answer to that question, too. (As of last week, I have one, yay!)
Meanwhile, the crockpot recipes continued…this time with a delicious knock-off of Olive Garden-style* pasta fagioli.

My version was lower sodium (you can read more about that below,) but quite spicy and delicious (she said modestly.)

1 1/2 pound ground beef
One large onion, chopped
Three large carrots, chopped
Four stalks of celery, sliced
One heaping teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
6 to 8 leaves of fresh basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes and sauce
20 oz spaghetti sauce (I used Gia Russo's Hot Sicilian)
2 and ½ cups low sodium beef broth (or 3/5 box of regular broth and add some water)
1 cup Ditalini pasta
One can white or red kidney beans, low-sodium, rinsed
Fresh spinach, about 4 oz
Parmesan for grating on top

Brown the beef and drain grease.
Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot, up to the point of the pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.

During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta, beans and spinach.
Serve with crusty bread and grated Parmesan if you wish.

*Soup in restaurants is generally very salty. So naturally I made some adjustments to the recipes I saw on Pinterest.

This entire pot of soup contains roughly 3500 mg of sodium. There are probably 10 servings in the pot, so 350 mg per serving. (This is calculated from the tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and beef broth. Read your labels carefully, as these ingredients vary greatly in sodium content. The celery, carrots, and spinach also contain naturally occurring sodium. Tabasco sauce, 35 mg per teaspoon. Ground beef, 450 mg per 1.5 lbs.)

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pasta e Fagioli a la Lucy Burdette


Today's recipe might be a little confusing, because it's obviously Italian and I'm just home from a wonderful trip to France, not Italy. But after spending ten days feasting on amazing pastries like the ones at the left, you can understand that I need to eat homey, plain food for a while to let my system catch up. One of the funny things we noticed about the French (besides the incredible pastries and bread and the smoking--you would not believe how many people smoke!), was the dearth of green vegetables. Even my husband announced one day that in the course of three meals, nothing green had passed his lips.. 

So this soup doesn't have green veggies in it either, but it's relatively low on fat and full of fiber and delicious comfort food for a fall night. Serve it with a green salad and maybe some biscuits or good bread, and you've got supper!

Pasta e Fagioli: Ingredients

2 tablespoons
4-5 slices bacon, chopped
1  sprig rosemary, left intact
1 large fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
Coarse salt and pepper
1 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta (I forgot to buy this so you see ziti)
1 chunk Parmesan rind for soup (optional)
Grated Parmesan or Romano, for the table


Brown the bacon. Remove from pan, drain and crumble. Next, add the olive oil to the pan. Over medium heat, saute the bay leaf, rosemary, chopped vegetables, and garlic until soft. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Remove to a large soup pan. 

 Add tomato sauce, water, and stock to pot and simmer. Add the beans and the chunk of Parmesan rind if desired and simmer. (The rind is not necessary but it adds flavor and it's fun to come across the gooey, tasty mass at the bottom.) At this point, you may want to refrigerate the soup overnight for more flavor.

Bring the soup back to simmer and cook the ditalini separately until just tender, then add to the pot. Or dish the pasta into bowls and ladle the soup over top. Garnish with the crispy bacon and serve with freshly grated cheese and crusty bread or biscuits and definitely, a green salad. Bon appetit or buon appetito! (You know what I mean:)

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out in February, but you can pre-order it now.

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest!