Few people know that my mom's favorite restaurant is Olive Garden. Don't ask me how or why, it just is. So whenever we go, I get their Pasta Fagioli soup. Between the beans, meat and pasta, it's very filling. So I've been playing around with making my own copy-cat Pasta Fagioli soup at home. I've finally gotten the ingredients to a point where it gets my mom's approval.
I've been making this pasta fagioli soup instead of chicken soup whenever I'm sick for the last couple of years now. It's hearty, filling and even when I am so sick that I can't taste anything, I can pick up the rich flavor in the soup. . Serve it with some baguette or garlic bread and you've got an entire meal.
Beef or Pork?
For this pasta fagioli soup recipe, I prefer using spicy pork sausage. I feel it adds a lot more flavor to the soup vs. using ground beef. You can always opt for mild sausage if you're not big on heat. if your don't consume pork products, you can swap out the pork for 80/20 ground beef. If you swap out to beef, I suggest increasing the spices (basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano) about ½ tsp.
Semi-Homemade Italian Pasta Fagioli Recipe
- 2 lb of italian sausage with no casing I prefer it spicy!
- 1 chopped yellow onion
- 2 large sliced carrots
- 3 stalks of thinly sliced celery
- 5 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 32 oz. container of low sodium beef broth
- 1 cup of water
- 2 Tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 32 oz jar of your favorite Marinara sauce I used Rao's
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp minced fresh basil
- 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¾ tsp fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper season to taste
- 1 16 oz can of red beans
- 1 16 oz can of cannellini beans
- 1 cup dry ditalini pasta
- parmesan and fresh minced parsley for garnish
- In a large pot over medium high heat, crumble in Italian sausage and cook, stirring until cooked through.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium-high heat until tender, add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
- Add beef broth, tomato paste, marinara, sugar, basil, oregano and thyme.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover with lid and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add dry ditalini, water, kidney beans and cannellini beans to soup and cook on low until the pasta is al dente (about 5 more minutes)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm with Parmesan cheese and parsley sprinkled over the top. .