Happy Friday! My birthday was Wednesday and it was a really nice day. I took time to myself and actually “hid” from my phone and computer for most of the day. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to hear from people, but it’s one of the few days a year when I make a real effort to detach and have a “Regan Day.”
When I woke up the following morning, I had a ton of great messages to read and listen to and I enjoyed every one of them. What I love most about my birthday is that I hear from people near and far… people who I’m close to and people who I was once close to. It makes me reflect on a lot of old memories much like certain foods do.
In high school and during college, my friends and I would meet at The Olive Garden for bottomless bowls of Pasta Fagioli and bread sticks, because we were broke and the soup was incredibly filling and comforting. Recently, my mom sent me a Pasta Fagioli recipe of her own and although I knew her version would be way better, I knew it would also bring back memories of me and my friends. So, while I’ve been reflecting during my birthday week, it seemed like a good time to post this recipe for you.
One tip I have is to cook the pasta separate from the soup. I don’t even store the left overs together. Normally, I like to finish cooking pasta within the sauce that I made, but because this is a soup, the pasta will completely absorb the broth leaving you with more of a pasta stew. Everyone’s preference is different.
And, in case you missed it, I answered a collection of questions from readers of Up Close & Tasty in a post called Happy Birthday (to me) this week including what’s in my camera bag, advice for new photographers and best and worst moments so far as a full time photographer. Check it out if you want to learn a little bit more about me. And, be sure to grab the Pasta Fagioli recipe below and see what memories it might trigger for you.
Olive oil 1 pound ground beef (or other meat of your choice)
1 yellow onion, diced
1-2 cups of carrots, thinly chopped in slices/coins
1-2 cups of celery, chopped
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
4 cups of beef broth
Note: I picked up two boxes (8 cups) of beef broth in case the meat, beans and veggies absorb too much of the broth during the cooking process.)
1.5 teaspoons oregano
1.5 teaspoons black pepper
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 package of Ditalini pasta
Optional: Dash of hot sauce like Sriracha or Cholula
1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to a dutch oven over medium heat.
2. Brown the meat.
3. Once browned, add the onion, carrots, celery and crushed tomatoes.
4. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pot.
5. Add 4 cups of beef broth – add more if needed during the cooking process).
6. Add the oregano and black pepper.
7. Let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
8. Cook the pasta according to instructions separately from the rest of the soup.
9. Do not combine pasta with soup until serving in individual bowls to keep the broth from being completely absorbed.
10. Store pasta and soup separately.
All Images © Regan Baroni 2016.