(Olive Garden Copy Cat)
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, julienned (1 cup)
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 12-ounce can V-8 juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
*1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditali pasta
1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
4. About 50 minutes into the simmering, cook the pasta in 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of boiling water over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or just until pasta is al dente, or slightly tough. Drain.
5. Add the pasta to the large pot of soup. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more and serve.
*I think that it needed a little less than what the recipe called for. It seemed to have a little more pasta than I remember from the soup at the restaurant.
**I cooked the meat and vegetables like the recipe called for and then I added it with the rest of the ingredients (except the pasta) and cooked it in the crock-pot. I cooked the pasta and added it to the soup about 20 –30 minutes before serving.