Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pasta E Fagioli

Sometimes, you just have to depend on an outside source to get something accomplished that you can't do yourself.  Such was the case with this recipe.  I've had a copy of a recipe called "Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli" in my collection for a few years, but never made it because my husband seemed apathetic about it.

A lady he works with brought a batch of soup to a potluck recently, and he uncharacteristically raved about it, telling me it had hamburger, beans, carrots, tomatoes, etc.  I said, "That sounds a lot like a recipe I have already..." and asked him to get the coworker to give him a copy of what she had cooked.  Well, lo and behold, it was the exact same, a creation of the folks over at Top Secret Recipes.

The recipe is super simple, hearty, and delicious.  Best of all, it doesn't call for any abnormal ingredients that you'll have to lay out ridiculous cash for.  Most home cooks will have these things on hand already.  Nice, right?  Nothing irritates me more than trying a new recipe that requires weird stuff, and then subsequently tastes like utter crap.  Thankfully, this wasn't one of those.

The recipe as it stands worked great.  I did not make any modifications to the ingredients list. I did make one small change in technique, though, and I would recommend you do the same.  The original recipe calls for cooking the ditali pasta for 10 minutes until al dente.  Previous experience with soggy pasta in soups gave me pause.  Six minutes of cooking the pasta was enough- I set the timer after dumping the pasta into boiling salted water.  After draining the pasta and adding it to the hot soup, it was cooked just perfectly and not at all soggy.

A green salad beforehand and some crusty bread alongside, and you'll have the perfect comforting meal for a cool winter's evening.  We have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow's lunch, and in this case, I'm glad that's so.

Just perfect for a late February evening.


Katie said...

MMMM this is so dreamy. If anyone can inspire me to cook, it's going to be you!

traceyjay said...

thanks for the heads up on this recipe! I've been making their zuppa toscana for years, and love the pasta e fagioli! :)