I can be plenty crazy about certain things. Take for instance, my pursuit of a very particular piece of white, hard-case luggage that took me all the way out to Rockville. But when it comes to dining out, high-maintenance I am not. You’re welcome, Brian.
In that spirit, I thought I’d use today’s Thirsty Thursday stage to share a great recipe for copycat slow-cooker Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli (pronounced pasta fajeool, I think). Because sometimes, you just don’t feel like changing out of your sweats to go eat in public. Not that the fine people of Olive Garden would mind, but you know what I mean.
You’ll need: 2 pounds of ground beef, a white onion, 3 carrots, 4 celery stalks, 2 big cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can each of red and white kidney beans, 30 ounces of beef stock, 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, and ditalini pasta.
Confession: I forgot to add the oregano, pepper and parsley. It was delicious without, but even better with.
The recipe makes about 10 generous servings, but if that’s more soup than you can handle or if your slow cooker is smaller than 6 quarts, consider cutting the recipe in half. Prep and cooking instructions remain the same.
The only real labor in this whole process is the browning of the beef and the chopping of the carrots, celery and onion.
The best, most fun part is the opening of all of the cans. I’m a child.
Once your beef is cooked and your vegetables are chopped, dump everything but the pasta into the slow cooker and set on low for 8 hours or cook on high for 4.
Here’s a tip, don’t dump the pasta into the crock pot as the original suggests. It gets overcooked and mushy. I recommend cooking the pasta separately and spooning in as much or as little as you like into the individual bowls for serving.
Top it with grated parmesan or enjoy as is, you’ll love it either way, and be amazed by how much it tastes like the Olive Garden original. It’s the perfect set-it-and-forget-it soup for the next time you throw an Italian dinner party, or whenever the mood strikes with plenty of leftovers to last you many happy and well-fed days.
Enjoy and slurp up!
Side note: I really don’t like minestrone. Is that weird?
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
- 1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
- 30 ounces beef stock
- 3 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 5 teaspoons parsley
- 1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
- 8 ounces ditalini pasta
- Brown beef in a skillet.
- Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
- Cook on low 8 hours or 5 hours on high.
- Cook pasta separately and add it to each bowl of soup when serving.
- This makes a lot of soup, at least 10 servings. If your slow cooker is smaller than 6 quarts, consider cutting the recipe in half. Cooking time stays the same.