Pasta e Fagioli

When it gets cold in Texas, we all get super excited because it’s always so hot here. Case in point: last Monday it snowed!! To you northerners, it wasn’t much more than flurry, but hey…it stuck and the yards and roofs of our houses had a light dusting of white powder on top! 
Since it was cold, what better way to enjoy dinner than with a big bowl of hot, steamy soup! While Taco Soup is my favorite soup of all time, I kind of burned myself out on it. Thus, I thought I try something new…this time, an Italian soup!
Since it was cold and I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store, I used what I had around the house and threw it all together in a pot. Okay, not really. If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge rule follower. The same goes with recipes. I like to precisely measure my ingredients so that everything turns out perfectly. 
I had all intentions of making a sausage and bean soup with pasta recipe from the Italian Dish. I was going to follow the recipe exactly but I didn’t have sausage, I didn’t have ditalini pasta, I didn’t have cannellini beans and I didn’t have a bay leaf!!! So much for following a recipe…. 
So, what did I do? I made some substitutions and pretty much created my own soup that I was pretty impressed with.  It was light yet filling. The meat and beans provide the protein while the pasta gives you those long lasting carbs. The soup is also pretty healthy! The only source of fat comes from the ground beef, or sausage if you choose.
Enjoy and stay warm, especially those of you living north of Texas!
The alley, covered in snow at 7 in the morning!
Brown the beef. Sauté the carrot, onion and olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft.
Add tomatoes, beans, spices and broth.
Simmer for 1 hour, covered.

Add pasta and cook until tender.
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Pasta e Fagioli
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained (I used kidney…it’s all I had in my pantry)
1 pound ground sirloin or sausage, or a combination (I used sirloin)
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/2 medium carrot, diced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper
2 cups orecchiette or any small pasta
grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot, brown the beef. Add onion, carrot and olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add garlic and sauté about a minute more.
2. Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken broth, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, some salt and pepper, and the drained beans.
3. Cover the pot and cook for an hour over low heat, at a gentle simmer.
4. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.