One of our favorite family restaurants is Olive Garden! Not only is it affordable, but our kids leave that place feeling very full. Our favorite soup is their Pasta e Fagioli, I can eat several bowls! Anyhow, I wanted to try and recreate the recipe and with the help of several online recipes, I think that this one is pretty close. It seems that it is even better the next several days after making, I know because I eat almost all of it! I would recommend adding additional tomato juice the next day to prevent it from becoming a goulash type dish instead of soup like. This recipe will serve 8 large servings.
1 # lean ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 cup carrots diced
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cans (14 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
1 (32oz) can tomato or V-8 juice,
1 can (15oz) undrained red kidney beans
1 can (15oz) undrained great northern beans
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon each, oregano & basil
1/2 teaspoon each, pepper & thyme
1/2 pound ditali pasta (COOKED al dente)
1. Cook ground beef and drain off fat.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes.
3. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of tomato juice (12oz) and remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
4. About 50 minutes into the simmering, cook the pasta for 10 minutes or just until pasta is al dente. Drain.
5. Add the pasta to the pot of soup. Add additional tomato juice/V-8 juice to your liking and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes and serve.