This hearty soup, similar to the pasta e Fagioli you'd find at olive garden, makes a batch large enough to feed a crowd. If you have a large Crock Pot, you can set it to go in the morning and have an easy meal when you come home in the evening.
Olive Garden Crock Pot Pasta e Fagioli
2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28-oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16-oz.) red kidney beans, drained
1 (16-oz.) white kidney beans, drained
3 (10-oz.) beef stock
3 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. pepper
5 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 20-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz. cheese tortellini (in your freezer section)
Brown ground beef in a skillet. Drain fat from ground beef and add to a large crock pot with everything except the tortellini. Cook in a crock pot on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
During the last 30 minutes on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta (adding it sooner will cause pasta to get mushy). Cook until pasta is heated through.
Variations: I cooked my pasta e fagioli in a big stock pot on simmer for a couple of hours instead of using a Crock Pot. The recipe above made a HUGE batch. I think we could have halved it and still had plenty to eat. Next time I make it I am going to freeze half of it before adding the tortellini.
Thanks to Mommy2Mercedes for posting this recipe in our Crock Pot Cooking Forum!