Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup

My wonderful friend Camie gave me this great recipe last year and it's been a hit ever since! My kids are crazy about this soup. I like to make up a huge batch and freeze it for quick meals later. Our favorite way to serve it up is with my friend Ruth's no-fail "Pizza Hut style" breadsticks (recipe below the soup).

Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup

1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 c. celery, diced
1 30 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
5 14 oz. cans beef broth
1 T. oregano
2 tsp. pepper
1 T. plus 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 30 oz jar spaghetti sauce
small pasta, any kind

Sauté beef and onion until browned. Add carrots, celery and tomatoes; simmer 10 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients. Simmer 10 or more minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Pour into Gallon Freezer Ziploc bags and freeze. (I like to double bag it). When ready to eat, place in fridge overnight and heat on the stove or microwave.

Ruth’s Family Favorite Breadsticks

1 ½ cup hot water
2 Tb sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup non fat dry milk
1 Tb yeast
~ 3 cup flour ( I often use ½ whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup melted butter

Dissolve sugar, salt and dry milk in hot water. Add enough flour (~1 cup) to make a soupy mixture. When the mixture is no longer hot but still warm add the yeast and stir well. Then add the rest of the flour, enough to form a moderately stiff dough. Knead the dough until smooth. Roll dough into a rectangular shape the size of your baking pan. Spread half of the butter onto the baking pan, then place your dough into the pan and spread the remaining butter on top of the dough. Top the breadsticks with garlic salt, parmesan cheese, salad seasoning salt, or whatever you want. Cut the dough into breadsticks with a pizza cutter and let raise for 10-15 min. Bake at 350 degrees for 20- 25 min. Yum!

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