Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

This is the outdoor dining patio of a restaurant in Chicago called Piccolo Sogno where we ate earlier in the summer while visiting our son and his family.  Not only was it beautiful, they served some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten.  They make their own prosciutto, and their menu is rustic Italian food.  The name Piccolo Sogno in Italian translates to "little dream" and their website said this restaurant is the dream of it's owners.  It is truly a beautiful place with wonderful food if you ever have a chance to eat there!  

Actually, this picture has nothing to do with pasta e fagioli except that it is a picture of an Italian restaurant.  My picture of the soup I made was not usable because it was so blurry.  Boo!  So I used the next best thing which was this beautiful picture with a beautiful memory attached -  just like this soup will hopefully make a lasting memory for you and become a recipe you will want to use over and over.

Last week, a Facebook friend messaged me and asked if I had a recipe for Pasta e Fagioli because they love to eat it at Olive Garden and she was wanting to make some.  I had to tell her that I did not have a recipe.  But, I looked some up for her and found one from Giada DeLaurentis that sounded wonderful.  It piqued my interest and I decided to try it and I added my own little spin to it.  You can find her original recipe at Foodnetwork.com if you want to it.  This is a truly delicious, hearty and filling soup and I think you will really like it.  It is also an easy recipe and relatively inexpensive to make.  Here is the recipe I came up with (which I doubled) sans picture.   I'll try to do better next time.


  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, minced  (if you do not have fresh herbs, substitute dried herbs)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 lb mild Italian sausage
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup elbow macaroni
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
Remove casings from sausages and brown in large soup pot or dutch oven, breaking them up into bite sized pieces while they brown.  While sausage is browning, dice onion and garlic.  Add onion and garlic to sausage when it is almost done cooking.  Cook until onions are transparent.  Drain and rinse beans.  Add beans to sausage, onions and garlic, add chicken broth, tomatoes,  chopped thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes and black pepper.   Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add macaroni and cook just until al dente - about 8 minutes.   If soup seems too thick, add some water and let it heat through.  Remove bay leaf before serving.  Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.  Oh my goodness delicious!

We had this soup on a cool night with salad and warm garlicky bread sticks and it was Deee - licious!  Give it a try.  It's  quick, easy, satisfying and makes wonderful left overs! We will be having this again and again.   Enjoy!!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Do more of what makes you happy!

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