Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli



Someone once told me you could eat all the soup you wanted and it doesn’t count. I’m not sure how accurate of a statement that is, but soup does seem like a lighter dinner after all the holiday eating. I’m always looking to expand on soup recipes and I knew this soup would be different from others I normally make. The soup is loaded with beans, veggies, Italian sausage, and pasta. The ingredients can be adapted based on preference. Beef can be substituted for sausage and other vegetables, like celery, can be added in. If you are serving a crowd, this is the perfect soup. I used my cast iron Dutch oven and it was filled to the brim! Leftovers can be used for lunches during the week or frozen for a quick meal later.

Pasta e Fagioli

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings remove

1/2 large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 carrots, thinly sliced

28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

64 oz. beef broth

28 oz can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

4 oz small dry pasta (such as ditalini)

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat, and brown the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Once brown, remove sauce from pot with a slotted spoon and discard any grease that remains in the pot.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same pot. Add the onion, garlic, and carrot. Sauté over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add sausage back to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the beans, beef broth, and tomato sauce. Add in all the seasonings and stir well. Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn down to low heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Add pasta to soup right before serving.

Source adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker

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