Pasta e Fagioli: A Hearty and Budget-Friendly Soup
Adding a Twist to a Classic Dish
Pasta e fagioli, meaning pasta and beans, is a beloved Italian soup that has stood the test of time as a frugal and satisfying meal. By combining just a few pantry staples like beans, broth, and pasta, you can create a hearty dish that will feed your family without breaking the bank. Over the years, this humble soup has evolved, with the addition of tomatoes, vegetables, and even meat.
To take this classic dish to the next level, consider adding ground sausage. Inspired by the renowned Olive Garden pasta e fagioli soup, the addition of sautéed sweet Italian sausage brings a depth of flavor that elevates this soup to main course status. Don’t worry if you can’t find uncased sausage filling; simply remove the casing from regular Italian sausages and slice them up. For those who enjoy a bit of heat, using hot sausage will give the soup a spicy kick. Alternatively, ground beef can be substituted for sausage or you can cook whole sausages in the pot, letting them simmer in the soup until fully cooked before slicing diagonally to serve. Feel free to put your own spin on this copycat version of Olive Garden’s pasta e fagioli!
While traditionally made with ditalini, a small tube-shaped pasta, you can easily swap it out for any other small pasta variety like elbow macaroni. The beauty of this dish lies in its versatility, allowing you to use what you have on hand or experiment with different pasta shapes.
In summary, pasta e fagioli is a budget-friendly and satisfying soup that can be customized to your liking. By adding ground sausage and using the pasta of your choice, you can create a flavorful twist on this classic dish. Perfect for a cozy family meal or entertaining guests, this soup is sure to become a favorite in your home.
Pasta e Fagioli: A Hearty Italian Delight
- 2 cans of beans (such as cannellini or kidney beans)
- 4 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 pound of ground sausage (sweet or hot)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of small pasta (such as ditalini or elbow macaroni)
1. In a large skillet, sauté the ground sausage over medium heat until browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
2. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion, diced carrots, and diced celery. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.
3. Add the minced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the skillet. Cook for another minute until fragrant.
4. Transfer the cooked sausage back to the skillet and mix well with the vegetables.
5. Pour in the diced tomatoes, including the juice, and stir to combine.
6. Add the beans (including the liquid from the cans) and the broth to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
7. Meanwhile, cook the small pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
8. Once the soup has simmered, add the cooked pasta to the skillet and stir to incorporate.
9. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
10. Serve the pasta e fagioli soup hot, garnished with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
Enjoy this comforting Italian dish that combines the richness of sausage, the heartiness of beans, and the flavors of various vegetables. It’s a perfect choice for a budget-friendly and satisfying meal. Buon appetito!
Try This Delicious Pasta e Fagioli Recipe
Take Your Soup to the Next Level
Pasta e fagioli, meaning pasta and beans, is a budget-friendly dish that has evolved over time. Originally a humble soup, it now incorporates tomatoes, vegetables, and even meat. By adding ground sausage, like in Olive Garden’s pasta e fagioli soup, you can elevate it to a main course that is sure to impress.
Use What You Have or Stick to Tradition
While we encourage using whatever ingredients you have on hand, if you want to stay true to tradition, seek out ditalini pasta. This small, tube-shaped pasta is the preferred choice for this recipe. However, if you don’t have it, feel free to substitute with any other small pasta, such as elbow macaroni.
Enhance the Flavor with Sweet Italian Sausage
For an extra layer of flavor, start by sautéing sweet Italian sausage in the skillet. If you can’t find uncased sausage filling, simply remove the casing from regular Italian sausages. If you prefer a spicier version, use hot sausage instead. You can even swap in ground beef or cook whole sausages in the pot, allowing them to simmer in the soup and then slicing them diagonally to serve. Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on this copycat Olive Garden recipe!
In conclusion, this pasta e fagioli recipe is a delicious and budget-friendly option for feeding your family. By adding ground sausage and your choice of pasta, you can transform this humble soup into a hearty main course. Whether you stick to tradition or get creative with your ingredients, this soup is sure to impress. So why not give it a try and enjoy a warm and comforting meal?