GBFB is committed to healthy lives and communities through the food we distribute and through nutrition education. During National Nutrition Month®, Team GBFB will share how we lead healthy lives through diet and being active. Enjoy!
Sudie Phillips, Executive Associate for the CFO.
One of the reasons I chose this recipe was because my family loves the Olive Garden version of Pasta Fagioli. Their version has very high sodium content and I like knowing where and how the ingredients are prepared. So I started experimenting until I got the recipe just right while using great ingredients along the way. My family also enjoys a little spice so the pepper flakes add a little zing to the soup.
My family enjoys a variety of different cuisines but sometimes there are recipes that are too fatty or too oily and we don’t know the quality of ingredients that were used. Both my son and daughter have asthma and by changing our diet, I was able to control their asthma attacks. We found that foods that are nitrate free made a big difference. Using Organic meats, conventional (without pesticides or herbicides) or organic fruits and vegetables made such a big difference in their health. I know my family is much healthier and in a better state with the choices we have made. So when we find a meal that we have enjoyed out, I try to replicate it at home so that we can enjoy it all the time without spending a lot and making it as healthy as possible!
This recipe is so easy to make and it is a one pot meal so cleaning is a snap! It is a great comfort food in the Spring, Fall, or on a cold Winters’ day. You can make it a day ahead and the longer it simmers, the more flavorful it gets. You can even make it and freeze it for a day when you don’t feel like cooking. It freezes quite well. I love the ease of this recipe.
So hopefully you will try it and let me know if you enjoyed it as much as my family does. And even if you try it and don’t like, let me know. I am always open to different interpretations of this recipe.
Sudie’s Recipe for Pasta Fagioli
(with Ground Beef)
1 pound lean (90/10) organic ground beef
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
2 large carrot, julienned (2 cup)
4 stalks celery, chopped (1 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 32 oz carton of Organic Chicken or Beef stock
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
2 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste (we are not big fans of too much salt)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 rind of the Parmesan cheese (optional but adds extra flavor)
1 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditali pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, pepper flakes and saute for 10 minutes or onions are translucent.
3. Add remaining ingredients except the bean and simmer for 1/2 hour. Then add the beans and a rind of Parmesan cheese.
4. About 1 ½ hour into the simmering, cook the pasta in 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of boiling water over high heat.
5. Cook for 10 minutes just until pasta is al dente, or slightly tough. Drain.
6. Add the pasta to the large pot of soup.
7. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more and serve.
8. Serve with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese
Side Note: This recipe can also be made vegetarian by eliminating the beef and using vegetable stock. You can also add more greens like Lacinto kale for milder flavor. You can also substitute a piece of garlic bread instead of pasta.