Pasta e Fagioli - Olive Garden Copycat
- 1 pound ground beef (I've also used ground turkey for a lower fat version - pretty good results)
- 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
- 1 large carrot, small dice (1 cup)
- 3 stalks celery, medium dice (1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes - undrained
- 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
- 1 15-ounce can great northern beans (with liquid)
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 12-ounce can V-8 juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar (I never add)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme (I never add)
- 1/2 pound ditali pasta
1. Brown the ground beef in a large soup pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat, leaving some for sauteing the vegetables. (If you use turkey, you might need to add some olive oil to the pot first)
2. Add onion and saute for 10 minutes. Then add the garlic, carrot, and celery.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
4. About 50 minutes into the simmering, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. It will cook additionally with the soup. Drain.
5. Add the pasta to the pot of soup. Simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes and serve.
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