Pasta e Fagioli

As you know, we live in Cleveland. And before you make any snarky comments about the Browns…just, don’t…how ’bout that Tribe & Cavaliers!?

Cleveland this time of year is cold, dreary, and often snowy. It’s only been two of those three as of late, but when we finally got snow, this was a dish that really hit the spot. It lasted two nights, with leftovers that this mommy did in fact, enjoy (because honestly, I don’t like leftovers).

Pasta e Fagioli

adapted from Damn Delicious

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup ditalini pasta –  this is great pasta for soup and when you need pasta for 1 person. In a pinch you can use another small pasta such as shells, stellini or orzo
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage – remove the casing or buy bulk-style
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (16oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes OR 1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes, fresh/frozen
  • Spices:
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15oz) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain well and set aside in separate bowl, or spoon into your serving dishes.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook until browned. As the sausage cooks, make sure to break it apart into small pieces. Drain the excess grease and set it aside in a small dish.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the stockpot. Stir in the garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Whisk in the chicken broth to help get any ‘brown bits’ off the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and spices.
  5. Add the Italian sausage back in, as well as 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10-15 minutes until the vegetables finish cooking.
  6. Set heat to low; stir in pasta and beans until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

 

In love with our new soup/pasta bowls…thank you Mom!

NOTE: Add the pasta to serve or else it’ll soak up all the liquid when leftovers go into the fridge! I cooked the pasta, the put it into the soup bowls. Once the soup was finished, I ladled the soup on top of the pasta. It worked perfectly; the pasta didn’t get soggy.

As you probably have noticed, I am a *huge* fan of Damn Delicious. All her recipes are, well, damn delicious! She adapted this recipe from the Olive Garden and I just knew it had to be good. You probably could omit the sausage if you wanted to or used a meat substitute with sausage seasonings (anise, red pepper), but I feel it wouldn’t be true to style if it didn’t have Italian sausage in it. However, that’s my two cents!

This soup pairs well with salad – as you can imagine at the Olive Garden – but is chock-full of vegetables and so hearty that it can be eaten by itself. However, you may want some fresh, crusty bread to eat along with it. 🙂

Enjoy, and stay warm!

 

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