Almost Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli…Pot Luck!

“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”
— Auguste Escoffier

Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli2

Well, once again I strayed from this week’s assignment over at the cook’s club after searching for Giada’s and Ina’s pasta fagioli recipes Mike reminded me of how much he likes The Olive Garden version that I have made from time to time. So mid-recipe I converted it to an Olive Garden version switching out the beans for two kinds of beans, red kidney, and navy beans. adding a few more herbs along with some rosemary, and adding in diced tomatoes and some homemade tomato sauce. Voila almost like Olive Garden pasta fagioli…

Of course, the Instant Pot set for 10 minutes, freshly baked focaccia coming out of the oven and the salad ready to serve, what a great lazy rainy night comfort food dinner! Serve with additional grated or shaved cheese…

IbYaYa’s Easy Cheater Olive Garden pasta Fagioli-serves 4-6

Keep in mind that you can use dried beans, but for this version, the canned beans are just fine…

Pantry Ingredients:

1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans navy or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
Ditalini pasta about 2 cups, cooked according to instructions on the package, drain, set aside
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 pod of concentrated chicken stock and 1 pod of concentrated beef stock or use 2 of the same
About a tablespoon of EVOO for sautéing pancetta, sausage, and vegetables

Spices, Herbs, and Vegetables:
6 small cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1/4 large sweet onion, diced
a big handful of baby carrots, halved and sliced
3 center ribs of celery and some of the leaves, cut in half lengthwise and small diced
8 leaves of fresh basil, julienned + 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 sprigs of oregano leaves + 1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves + 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
freshly chopped parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinches of red pepper flakes
*Optional cheese rind or a handful of shaved cheeses

1 + 1/4 pounds of bulk Italian sausage (I season my own, but store-bought is just fine)
4-ounce package of pancetta cubes
2 cups homemade tomato sauce or marinara
4 cups of water

Start the Instant Pot on manual sauté when it warms up add 1/2 of the oil and sauté the pancetta cubes until crispy, remove and set aside.  Add the remaining oil, sauté the sausage, breaking it up as you go, about halfway through toss in the fresh vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes, add the herbs, spices stir then toss in the canned beans, tomatoes stock pods, water, and season with salt and pepper.

Set the Instant Pot to manual, put the lid on, set on manual for 10 minutes under high pressure.  When the timer goes off allow to sit for 4 minutes and release pressure.

Take some of the soup broth and add it to the cooked pasta to warm it up a bit.  

To Serve, scoop some of the pasta into a soup bowl and add the soup, sprinkle with cheese and a little chopped parsley.   Enjoy with a great salad and fresh bread…