I’m not sure how my grandmother would feel about me calling this soup pasta e fagioli given that the Italian translation is “pasta and beans” but if the Olive Garden can get away with it, then so can I. Traditionally, pasta e fagioli is a meatless dish, which is exactly how my Gram made it. Today, there are so many variations like this one that include the additions of vegetables and meat. Although nothing compares to my grandmother’s recipe, this one comes in as a close second!
Prep Ahead Plan: Brown the meat the night before and place all ingredients in the slow cooker. Refrigerate overnight and turn it on before you leave in the morning.
Slow Cooker Pasta E Fagioli
2 lbs ground beef (I used 96% lean)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (32 ounce) cartons beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco (optional)
1 (8 ounce) can spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
Crushed red pepper
1. Brown meat and place in the slow cooker with the next 12 ingredients. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
2. During the last hour, add the beans and pasta.* Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper when pasta is cooked!
*I boiled my pasta on the stove separately. I did this because I was afraid the pasta would absorb too much liquid and the soup would be too thick.