I like to describe Pasta e Fagioli as Italian chili. This version is very similar to the one that Olive Garden serves. Of course, it’s delicious at any time during the year, but it’s warm and hearty, perfect for a “chilly” winter day! As you can imagine, in Houston we don’t have a whole lot of really cold winter days, but I still like to wait until there’s a chill in the air… you know, anything below 60 degrees! 😉
I’ve been making this for years and it’s definitely a favorite in our house. It’s nice and thick, meaty, and tomato-y, like chili, but not spicy, with Italian flavors running through it and some pasta for good measure! Generously top it with Parmesan cheese and serve it with a side of garlic bread.
Pasta e Fagioli
Adapted from: Top Secret Recipes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup carrot, diced or shredded
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
- 1 15-ounce can great northern or cannellini beans (with liquid)
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 11.5-ounce can vegetable juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano*
- 1 teaspoon dried basil*
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme*
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- Brown the ground beef in a large pot over medium heat. Drain the fat.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 50 minutes.
- Stir the pasta into the soup and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.
- When serving, top with Parmesan cheese.
*2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning can be substituted for the oregano, basil, and thyme.