Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pasta Fagioli

A couple of weeks ago I hosted an all day baking excursion with two of my friends. It was a day filled with laughter, fun and togetherness baking some fantastic treats. The girls were so gracious to bring soup, salad and homemade bread for lunch since I had provided the kitchen to play in.

My friend Sarah brought this amazing soup that she had bookmarked from Brown Eyed Baker. Sarah was kind enough to leave plenty of soup for my family's dinner that evening so I could wrap up and clean the kitchen. Marty and the kids LOVED dinner and Marty even requested some to be packed up for his lunch the next day. Pretty impressive! This soup has many wonderful textures from the crispiness of the carrots, the spiciness of the sausage, the depth of two kinds of beans and the fun of tiny pasta noodles in all. Mmmm!

I had put this soup on our menu for last week and thought I had everything in the pantry that I needed. Does this ever happen to you? You are in the midst of preparing dinner and you go to the shelves only to realize that you don't have a major ingredient? Well, that's what happened when I went to add the tomato sauce to the soup. I had many kinds of tomatoes, but no sauce. What I did have was a jar of traditional spaghetti sauce. I was too far into making the soup to turn back so I grabbed the spaghetti sauce and poured it in hoping for the best. Oh my...we loved the extra kick the spaghetti sauce added! I believe it's a permanent change to this already fantastic soup.

When you're ready for a hearty, Italian soup for dinner, give this recipe a try and you'll see why this is one of our new favorites!

From the heart of my kitchen to yours, may your experience be fun and the food always flavorful. Enjoy!
Pasta Fagioli

2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
64 oz. beef broth
28 ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz. small dry pasta (Ditalini)

1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat, and brown the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Once brown, remove sausage from pot with a slotted spoon and discard any grease that remains in the pot.

2. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pot, and add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. (I cooked a little less so that the carrots still had a little crispiness)

3. Add sausage back to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the beans, and add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Add in all the seasonings, stir well, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn down to low heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

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

Serve with your favorite bread or crackers.

Source: adapted from Delectable Dining, originally from Brown Eyed Baker


Michele said...

This looks delicious! I love that story! I wish I had a kitchen big enough to cook with my friends! Someday... :-)

Delectable Dining said...

I love your changes!! I'll definitely have to adjust my own recipe the next time I make this! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I just made this recipe, too! I'll have to try the spaghetti sauce kick next time. Although, I did love the original recipe as is. :)

Pamela said...

This looks so good!

Barbara Bakes said...

I love the Pasta Fagioli at Olive Garden. I'll have to give this a try!