an autumn dinner

pasta e fagioli

last week when it really started to feel like fall, i pulled out my slow cooker and had my eye out for a perfect recipe. after a bit of browsing, i decided to try out this one from a year of slow cooking. i liked that it was healthy and hearty, and employed the dump-and-go method that many slow cooker recipes do. 

served with honey wheat rolls and a green salad, and had enough to freeze for another dinner (and probably a lunch or two). here's to comfort food you can feel good about eating.

pasta e fagioli
adapted faintly from crockpot 365

1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes (and juice) 
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef broth
1 jar (16.5 oz) pasta sauce
 (i like tomato basil)
2 tsp oregano
dash ground cayenne pepper (add more if you like)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

3/4 cup dry pasta, to add at end of cooking time

brown the meat on the stovetop, and drain well. let it cool a bit. 

chop up the carrots, onion, and celery, and add to slow cooker
 (six quarts or larger).
drain and rinse the beans, and add pot. add the whole cans of tomatoes, and the pasta sauce. add the beef broth and stir well. add the salt, pepper, oregano, and ta
basco sauce. spoon in ground beef, and stir to combine.

cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. when the vegetables are tender, stir in the uncooked pasta.

cover and cook for another hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. i
t will swell quite a bit. (note: you may want to check your pasta after 30 minutes or so, to be sure it does not overcook. at 45 minutes, mine was more than al dente.)

serve with grated parmesan.