I am a shameless fan of The Olive Garden. Not often, but every once in a while nothing fills the bill like a lunch of soup and salad at TOG.
When I go, my soup of choice is always Zuppa Toscano. Jim's is Pasta e Fagioli. I never really care much for his choice, then several months ago The World's Best Neighbor brought me a batch she had made up from a copycat recipe.
I really liked it! And I paired it with another copycat recipe for their salad dressing (I think this one is even better).
The recipe she gave me makes 9 quarts!!! I cut it down to 1/4 of this. See the original recipe if you want to make a ginormous batch.
PASTA e FAGIOLI (Olive Garden Copycat, makes 2+ quarts)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
3 oz chopped onions
4 oz chopped carrots
4 oz chopped celery
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup cooked/canned kidney beans (drained/rinsed)
2 3/4 cup beef stock
3/4-1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp hot sauce
12 oz spaghetti sauce
2 oz pasta (ditalini or small shells), cooked according to package directions
Grated Parmesan cheese
Saute beef or turkey in soup pot until browned. Add onions, celery, carrots, and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add beans, beef stock, oregano, hot sauce, and spaghetti sauce. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add parsley and cooked pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Source: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/524/Olive_Garden_Pasta_E_Fagioli35471.shtmlhttp://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/524/Olive_Garden_Pasta_E_Fagioli35471.shtml