Friday, February 3, 2012

Pasta E Fagioli Soup (like Olive Garden's)

*Found on Pinterest from here.

Serves: 6
Prep: 1 hour (or all day in a slow cooker)

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannellini beans (or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
4 cups beef stock
1 jar (25 oz) spaghetti sauce
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup uncooked ditalini pasta (or other small pasta shape)
salt, to taste (about 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt)

Brown ground beef in a large pot and drain excess grease. Add all ingredients except the pasta and simmer on low, covered, for 45 minutes. Add pasta and a little additional water or broth if desired. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

1. This recipe could very easily be doubled to serve a large group or freeze the extra.
2. You can also make this in a crock pot by browning the ground beef in a skillet then combining it with all ingredients except the pasta and cooking on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Add the pasta 30 minutes before serving.

Romaine Salad with Tomatoes and Bacon

*Adapted from

Serves: 4 (side servings)
Prep: 10 minutes

4 slices bacon
1 head romaine lettuce (6 cups, cut up)
1 cup grape tomatoes
4 scallions, sliced (optional)
crumbled Gorgonzola or grated Parmesan cheese
4-6 Tbsp creamy Parmesan dressing, Caesar dressing, or Brianna's French Vinaigrette dressing

1. Cook the bacon until crisp; allow to cool and then crumble.
2. Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing.