This is a recipe for a delicious soup consisting of mostly pantry ingredients. I stumbled across a recipe for Pasta Fagioli a few years ago, but I made changes according to what we had and my family’s tastes. Using the marinara sauce gives it more of a long-simmered, rich taste. This recipe specifies Italian turkey sausage, but I have also used ground beef, and doubled the spices.
This might seem more suited to Fall/Winter, but it comes together quickly, so it isn’t like you are simmering it away on the stove all day, heating up the kitchen. Plus, this Winter does.not.want.to.end. We had to turn the heat back on for an hour last night to remove the chill that returned. Let’s hope we chased Winter away for good this time.
½ pound mild Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed, crumbled
1 small onion, chopped
1½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon paprika
4 cups chicken stock, broth, or water
1 can (15½ ounces) Roman beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni or ditalini
1 cup frozen vegetables of your choice ( Optional, but I usually use mixed vegetables or peas)
1 cup spinach leaves, cut into strips
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté over medium heat 2-3 minutes. Add Italian sausage, garlic, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Sauté, stirring often, 10 minutes, till Italian sausage is no longer pink.
Add the stock, beans, frozen vegetables, marinara sauce, macaroni, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in spinach. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
Note – you can definitely substitute other beans according to what you have on hand, but I really do like the Roman beans in this.
Vegetarian variation – omit the Italian turkey sausage. Add a squirt or two of Worcestershire sauce.