Around here we rarely go out to eat. I cook so much and try to make everyone’s favorite meals, so there really is never a point to eating out. When the occasion comes around that we do go out, we usually end up eating the same thing at the same restaurants we visit. We are quite creatures of habit around here in that way.
I have only been to the Olive Garden twice in the last two years and both times were when my cousin David came to town from Idaho and we met there with his brother, Jeff, in Tampa. Now that I think about it, we all got the same thing both times! I remember this because Jeff loves the Alfredo sauce they serve there and I have the recipe for it and gave it to him. I will have to post that recipe soon as well.
One reason I love food so much is that it always brings back memories to me like the one about my cousins at the Olive Garden. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face and I can remember the smells of the food, the funny things we laughed about, and how much I love and miss them. Food, it truly is good for the soul.
Anyway, to get back on track here, I always get soup and salad. The soup is always pasta fagioli, because I love it! I love the flavors of the sausage, beans and pasta mixed in with all those veggies. I am always trying to come up with new recipes, especially for dishes I like to eat at restaurants. So, I checked out the pasta fagioli closely that last time I ate there and wrote down everything in it so that I could make it at home.
It is actually very easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of time to cook because you cook everything else separate while the beans are cooking and then add it all together.
** For the vegetarian version, leave out the sausage and use the vegetable broth.
** For the gluten free version, use a gluten free pasta in place of the Ditalini.
- 3 cans cannellini beans
- 2-3 medium bay leaves
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion
- 3-4 celery stalks
- 4-5 carrots
- 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 – 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 6 cups water
- 6 cups of either beef, chicken or vegetable broth (I use Better Than Bouillon brand)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 lb Ditalini Pasta
- Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Drain and rinse your beans.