Post #29 – Pasta e Fagioli and Olive Garden Breadsticks

We had a delicious meal last week, something we want to remember.  So I need to put it in my blog.


 

Pasta e Fagioli by CookingClassy.com

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef or mild Italian sausage (I’ve tried both and like either)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil , divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans low sodium chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1/2 cup water , then more as desired
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram or Italian Seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 scant cup dry ditalini pasta or 1/3 box bowtie pasta
  • 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese , for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium high heat, crumble in ground beef or sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Drain fat from beef then transfer beef to a plate, set aside. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in same large saucepan, onions, carrots, and celery over medium-high heat until tender about 6 minutes, add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Reduce heat to a low, add tomato sauce, beef broth, water, canned tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram and cooked beef then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile prepare ditalini pasta according to directions on package, cooking to al dente.
  2. Add cooked and drained pasta to soup* along with kidney beans and great northern beans. Thin with a little more water if desired. Allow to cook 2 minutes longer. Serve warm with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.
  3. *If you don’t plan on eating all of the soup right away I recommend adding the pasta to individual servings. Then whatever is left over you can add the pasta to that the next day. Otherwise the pasta get’s really soggy and soup doesn’t have enough liquid.
  4. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

 

Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks also by CookingClassy.com

Yield: 1 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar , divided
  • 3 – 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Topping

  • 2 Tbsp margarine or butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk together warm water, yeast and 1/2 tsp granulated sugar until yeast has dissolved. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Add in remaining 1 Tbsp + 2 1/2 tsp granulated sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 3/4 tsp salt and vegetable oil, then fit mixer with paddle attachment and blend mixture until well combine. Switch mixer to dough hook attachment, add in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and knead mixture on low speed, adding up to 1/4 cup additional flour as needed, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic (dough should pull away from sides of the bowl but should still be slightly sticky). Transfer dough to a large buttered mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place free from draft until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Punch risen dough down, divide into 12 equal portions (2 ounces each by weight), keep them covered with plastic wrap as you work. Roll each piece into a 9 inch rope on a lightly floured surface, then transfer to two Silpat lined or buttered cookie sheets. Cover and let rise 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 during the last 10 minutes of rising.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 11 – 13 minutes until golden (I actually broiled mine during the last minute for a perfectly golden crust). Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together 1/2 tsp salt and garlic powder. Remove breadsticks from oven and run a stick of margarine or butter over hot breadsticks and immediately sprinkle with salt mixture. Serve warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
  4. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

 

YUM!!!!  I made this soup instead of the Minestrone Soup I had listed on my awesome New Menu Plan.  I realized that I sometimes find Minestrone soup to be flavorless at times.  But this soup HIT THE SPOT!  I hope you enjoy it!  I didn’t have the pasta the soup called for, so I instead used 1/3 box of bowtie pasta.  It was the perfect amount of pasta to soup ratio.   Paul especially loved the breadsticks.  The entire meal was WONDERFUL and I look forward to making it again in a few months.

Happy Cooking!

 

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