"Pasta Fagioli - A Feel Good Recipe"Fall has arrived and following close behind will be those harsh, biting winds and below freezing temps of winter.  When I was little, I use to associate hearty soups and thick, tasty stews with this time of year.  They use to make me feel all warm, cozy and comfy inside.  Everything was right with the world when those aromas floated throughout the house.

One of my favorites is Pasta Fagioli.  Now mind you, it’s not that my ethnic background is Italian, but it’s totally one of my favorite homemade soups.  The first time I had it, and I’m talking nearly twenty years ago, I’ve forever been in search of that first original recipe.  Olive Garden’s rendition comes really close but, I’m happy to say … happy dance … I’ve found something that comes real close to the one I had many moons ago.

Ladies, this is truly a feel good joy you’ll have fun preparing, using over and over again, and sharing with your friends and family.  I promise you’ll come back for seconds, maybe even thirds.  I make a jumbo pot so I can freeze the rest and it tastes fab-u-lous reheated every time!

Ingredients Needed:

2 lbs. ground beef (lean)

1 sweet onion chopped (diced)

3 cups shredded carrots (chopped)

4 stalks celery chopped (diced)

2 (28 oz) cans of pureed tomatoes (or diced if you prefer)

1 (16 oz) can of red and white kidney beans, drained

3 (10 oz) cans of beef stock

3 teaspoons oregano

5 teaspoons parsley

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

8 ounces of pasta

Directions:  Brown beef in skillet, drain fat and add all ingredients except pasta into a large crock pot or stew/sauce pan.  Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick and burn.  Add pasta the last 30 minutes.  Serve with warm crusty bread.  Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!