Friday, December 7, 2012

It's OK To Be A Copycat

I don't generally strive to be a copycat. I've always told my kids to be their own person.

But in this case, I think it's OK. This recipe is a knockoff of Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli Soup. Jill recommended the recipe after trying it at her house. The original recipe called for using a crockpot, but both Jill and I made it on top of the stove.

It makes a lot of soup, so unless you have a big group coming for supper, you'll have leftovers.  At my house, that's a good thing!  (I shared some with a neighbor, and you could also put some in the freezer for later. I love having something to pull out of the freezer on busy days.)

I like thick soup, but when you reheat it for later meals, you'll need to add a little bit of water. Pasta absorbs the moisture, so you'll need to add a little back in for a more soupy consistency. You will definitely need to add water, tomato juice or a little beef broth after it's been frozen.

From listening to the weatherman, winter is just about to arrive. This soup is a good way to combat those colder temperatures and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Copycat Olive Garden 
Pasta E Fagioli Soup
2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, shredded
1 cup celery, chopped
2 28-oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 16-oz. can red kidney beans, drained
1 16-oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
4 cups beef stock
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. pepper
3 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 20-oz. jar Prego traditional spaghetti sauce
8 oz. ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)

Brown ground beef with onion in large skillet. Drain fat. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and cook until vegetables are tender and pasta is cooked. Serve with crackers and fruit.

Crockpot version:  Brown ground beef with onion in large skillet. Drain fat. Combine all ingredients except pasta into a large crockpot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Before serving, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to soup.


  1. Keeping this handy for company this month! THANKS!

    1. It makes a lot, so it should be great for company. If you make it just for you and Vail, I would halve the recipe.