Sandy Sue’s Pasta e Fagioli Soup – While visiting family up north, Noah and I spent several weekends in July at a wonderful place called Sandy Beach on the Ohio River. It’s a cool trailer park filled with lovely vacation homes. My dad, Dan, and step-mom, Sandy, have one right on the river with a gorgeous view of all the water traffic. Barges coming and going, all manner of boats, wave runners, and if you’re lucky, paddle-wheelers, especially at night. It was so exciting to see this one floating past, all lit up with bright lights and Calliope music echoing off the water. ⛴🎶
This little slice of heaven between Madison and Vevay, Indiana is the perfect place for family to come together to hang out on the large porch and relax after a day of boating, or doing nothing at all. Our second weekend there, Uncle Dale and Aunt Bonnie came down for a visit and I was so glad to see them! It had been years and we had a wonderful time catching up. There were only nine of us there that day and to make an easy, filling, delicious meal, Sandy made pasta e fagioli. She said it was an Olive Garden copycat recipe, but I looked everywhere on the internet and couldn’t find one made exactly as she made hers. It was fabulous! And far better than I recall the soup at O.G.
We had just enough left to fill 7 bowls for tired and hungry travelers the following Friday. A quick re-heat on the stove and it was like manna from heaven. So here it is in all its fantastic glorious-ness.
Sandy Sue’s Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced (or finely chop a bag of matchstick carrots)
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 1 jar (20 oz.) spaghetti sauce
- 1 can (10 oz.) Rotel, mild
- 1 (14 oz.) can petite cut tomatoes with garlic & olive oil
- 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chilies
- 2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
- 3 cups beef broth (or 2 (15 oz) cans)
- 5 tsps. dried parsley
- 3 tsps. dried oregano
- 2 tsps. pepper
- 1 tsp. Tabasco
- 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans
- 1 (15 oz) can cannellini (white kidney) beans
- 8 oz. ditalini pasta, uncooked
- Optional shredded cheese, crackers, or corn chips for serving.
In a large stockpot, brown ground beef with onions. Drain off fat, then add everything but the pasta. Bring soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes, or until tender. Top with shredded cheese, crackers, and/or corn chips, if desired.
Happy eating! 😊