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It’s Olive Garden Night!

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Yesterday Kailey and I got to talking about Olive Garden and there endless soup and salads.  She said that Rick LOVES the Pasta e Fagioli.  I decided to give it a whirl and make it.    I decided to make it an Olive Garden night and have salad and bread-sticks to go along with the soup.   Thanks to copykats, I got the soup recipe and the salad dressing recipe and started cooking!

This recipe reminds me of a soup my mother used to make as a kid.  She used green beans, squash, corn whatever she had leftover.  The name pasta e fagolioli means means peasant soup, probably why leftovers and lower cost ingredients work so well with this.

It turned out great.  The flavors were spot on.  I did reduce the amount of ground beef by half and next time would probably use less pasta, even after cooking it separately and adding it.  It does absorb the liquid quite a bit.  It was a winner with Paige and Chris. Will definitely be making again.  LOTS OF LEFTOVERS! 

Olive Garden Pasta E. Fagioli Soup (in a crock pot)

2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 16 ounce can red kidney beans, drained
1 16 ounce can white kidney beans , drained
3 10 ounce cans beef stock
3 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. pepper
5 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. Tabasco (optional)
1 20 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounce pasta (Mini Penne or other small pasta)

1. Brown beef in a skillet

2. Drain fat from beef and add to pot with everything else except pasta

3. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours

4. During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low add pasta. (I cooked pasta on the side,and added just before serving to avoid mushy pasta)

Next I made the dressing.  I got to talking with my mother and told her that the ingredients were reminiscent of an artichoke dressing that my grandmother used to make.  I decided to make the dressing the way it was written and see how it tasted.  There were several reviews that said it was nothing like Olive Gardens, but I was intrigued with the recipe.

Next time I will put grandma’s twist on it and see if it makes a difference.  I thought it was a bit to tart, and don’t remember their salad having a white dressing.  It does have potential though. I will play with it a bit and see if it will be a new keeper.  Will let you all know if it was what the original author on copykat site was trying to accomplish.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. Corn Syrup
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp. Romano Cheese
1/4 tsp garlic salt, or one clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

 Mix together and toss over Olive Garden Salad Mix


About heylaydee

An average cook, an enthusiasm for experimenting and trying new things, is the reason for this blog. That and I found myself in the “empty nest” syndrome and needed an outlet. So I picked up the camera that was collecting dust, got out the pile of recipes, contacted friends and family for their favorites and starting cooking again. What could be better than a glass of wine, a hot stove, and creativity? Come along for the ride. I will be blogging about food, family, and anything else that inspires me.

One response »

  1. Olive Garden was Grandma Benson’s favorite restruant. This is where she always wanted to go for her birthdays and special occasions, though she usually ordered Eggplant Parmison instead of the Soup and Salad.

    I made this soup, plus the potato soup, last Sunday, and I really recommend these recipes to all. The Olive Garden Salad Dressing was good; but I am sure it would be better if I had used the corn syrup instead of trying to de-carb it by using 2 Tbsp. Splenda.

    The soup was delicious!! I followed the recipe exactly, and hadn’t realized how incorrigible I am about making changes to every recipe I use until I made myself follow THIS recipe exactly. . . No dollop of red wine. . . No cutting back on the Oregano. .. No adding green peppers. . . .And I have to say; it is just great the way it is written.


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