One of the things that I really loved about my mom is that she always took time to make the things that mattered to me happen. I grew up in a small town in rural Illinois….back then, the closest major shopping mall and major chain restaurants where almost an hour drive from our house. We didn’t get there too often- as a single mom on a limited budget, she did the best she could. But when we did get to make a trip into “town”, it was gangbusters and I always got to pick where we ate lunch.
We always picked a sit down place, something that was out of the ordinary for us. And nine times out of ten, I always picked that Italian chain known for their soup, salad, and bread stick combo.
Pasta fagioli is still one of my favorite soups. Every time I eat it, I taste a memory from my childhood and going out to eat with my mom. I haven’t ever had the guts to really tackle it homemade, but when Ragu reached out to me and asked me to create a heritage recipe inspired by their founder Assunta, I knew just what I wanted to make. Assunta started Ragu on her porch in upstate New York. She believed in the power of quality ingredients and a simmered tradition. She was also a single mom who did what she needed to do to make a better life for her family. Pasta Fagioli might be a new recipe to me, but the taste is a memory I want them to take with them into their grown up lives.
My family has loved the Ragu line for years. My aunt swears that the secret to killer lasagna is Ragu’s 7 Herb Tomato sauce. Because she trusts it so well, I thought I would use it as the base in my Pasta Fagoli. As it turns out, she knows what she’s talking about.
I am pleased to report that my pasta fagioli was a hit with my family. My recipe makes a double batch, so my recommendation is to halve the amount of veggies, beans, and stock if you just want one batch (keep the sauce and the meat the same).
- Ragu 7 Herb Tomato Sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 cans stewed tomatos
- 4 cans of your favorite beans (white, pink, kidney, it doesn't really matter) with juices rinsed
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 16 oz beef stock
- ½ cup Ditalini pasta
- 1 Tsp garlic flakes
- 1 Tsp parsley
- 1 Tsp basil
- In a large soup pot, combine ground beef, onions, celery, and carrots, Cook until meat is browned and veggies are tender. Do not drain fat.
- Add tomatoes, garlic flakes, parsley, basil, beans, Ragu 7 Herb Tomato sauce, beef stock to soup pot and simmer 30 minutes.
- Add pasta into soup and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.