Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli

How do you choose a favorite Olive Garden soup? It’s an almost difficult task. While returning to the restaurant to try them all may deplete the old wallet, the good news is that you can easily prepare all of your favorites at home and have the same fantastic flavor. It’s less expensive, plus you’ll have enough of leftovers to savor. Win-win situation! Pasta e Fagioli is one of my favorites.

It’s robust but not heavy, and the combination of herbs, soft beans, chewy ditalini pasta, and delicious beef swimming in a tomato-kissed broth is nearly ideal.I prefer meals that take less than thirty minutes to prepare, and this soup should take much less time, closer to twenty minutes if you’re a really quick chopper. And there isn’t much to chop. While the soup has a lovely layered flavor, the ingredient list isn’t overly long.

To begin, brown some ground beef before adding carrots, onions, celery, and garlic to the saucepan. (After all, most outstanding soups begin with those four ingredients, don’t you think?)After the vegetables have softened, add the tomato sauce, beef broth, diced tomatoes, and thyme and oregano. Allow things to simmer for a few minutes before adding the ditalini. When the pasta is tender, add the beans and cook for a few minutes, just until heated through.

You can alternatively boil the pasta in a separate pot while the vegetables cook, then toss it into the soup. It reduces cooking time slightly, but because it takes another pot, I prefer this way. It’s also great how the ditalini absorbs part of the flavorful liquid!

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