There are a lot of copycat Olive Garden recipes out there, as well as more classic & refined versions with Pancetta. I tried one from: http://damndelicious.net/2014/05/17/olive-garden-pasta-e-fagioli/ that looked simple and hearty. My secret weapon was my cousin’s Italian herb mix (she grows her own herbs and dries them for Christmas presents). Instead of using spicy Italian sausage, I chose Spicy Italian chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s, and elbow macaroni. I served it warm Italian bread and a salad for a nice meal.
Verdict: Delicious and easy to make.
You will need:
- 1 cup ditalini pasta ( I used small elbows)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cups chicken broth (I used reduced sodium. If you use regular, adjust your salt
- 1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
- cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Stir in garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk in chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, Italian sausage and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in pasta and beans until heated through.