Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Copycat Recipe – Make your favorite Olive Garden soup at home for a fraction of the cost, and no waiting for a table!
Since I moved to Washington I rarely go out to dinner.
A) Because I am a food blogger and would rather make a dish VS pay for it (Although getting out of the kitchen once in a while is a must)
B) Because I live in a teeny tiny town with very few options, and most of them aren’t that good.
Oh, I guess I could drive a bit to get to a decent restaurant, but that means dealing with traffic and paying to go over the toll bridge (gggrrrr I hate that). I guess I have really become a bit of a homebody. But in my defense, I would rather cook a nice meal and enjoy it with my family in my home.
However, when I lived in San Diego there were a ton of choices. The kids and I really like Olive Garden because it was inexpensive, but had decent food. The kids loved all of the different pastas, but I was a big fan of the soup and salad. My fave was their Pasta e Fagioli. I mean how can you not love it? It is so hearty and full of fabulousness!
After we moved my daughter told me that she missed our “Date nights” at The Olive Garden. So I decided that I wanted to come up with dishes that would remind of of the ones we used to get when we went. My daughter loved their Fettuccine Alfredo, which I adapted into a lighter Pumpkin Alfredo for her. My son was a huge Chicken Parmesan fan, but loved baked pasta as well, so I put together
Baked Chicken Parmesan Riggies and he flipped! But I never seemed to get around to my favorite. You know, kids come first right? So now that they have all moved out, and my time is mine, I decided to get down to business.
I have read through a bazillion recipes online, and worked on what seems like a million (give or take a few hundred) attempts at my own version. But it wasn’t until I got to this version that my taste buds let me know that I was on the right track. When I sat down to a big bowl of this, I was taken back 10 years to those weekly “Date nights” with my kiddos and how much fun we used to have. I made it a bit spicier by using hot sausage, and switched out red kidney beans for white (cannellini) beans because I feel the skin of the bean is a bit softer. But all of the flavors are there!
Now I need to plan a night for the kids to come over so we can all enjoy our favorites together. If I could only get those dang bread stick right!!!
1 quart beef stock (plus more if thinner broth is desired)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Fresh cracked black pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 loaf Italian bead
In a large heavy bottomed soup pot or dutch oven, over medium-high heat, crumble in the sausage and cook until no pink remains.
Push the sausage to the sides and add the carrot, celery, and onion. Cook an additional 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook another minute or two.
Add the crushed tomatoes, fire roasted diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, beef stock, bay leaves, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
Add the cooked pasta, and beans to the soup. Add additional stock if a thinner broth is desired.
Continue to cook until the beans are heated through.
Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread for dipping.
Welcome! It is so nice to meet you. My name is Bobbi. I am the Mom of 2 great kids, and Nana to a beautiful baby girl Kylee, and a handsome little devil named Torin. I share my life and home with my awesome partner Kevin, and 2 furbabies….