Pasta Fagioli (or why my crock pot WAS too small!)

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A couple of weeks ago one of the Dream Dinners that I made required some fajita beef to be slow cooked in a marianade (it was awesome). That reminded that,  hey – I have a crock pot! The December menu at DD didn’t turn me on and life is actually not so crazy at least until little league kicks in around March so I do actually have time to think about cooking dinner. So last week I ascended the mountain of wisdom and asked The Guru for help finding some crock pot recipes. (Translation: I asked the August Moms*) I was directed to a site called A Year of Crock Potting and I lifted this recipe for Pasta Fagioli. It fit my requirement of being kid palate friendly and fairly easy on the prep. However, there WAS a warning that I did not heed:

Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot, or cut the recipe in half. This makes a lot.

I have a 4qt crock pot (apparently, I really had no clue it is so old!) Here is how high the liquid went BEFORE I added the pasta:

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Yep, just about spilling over that final rim. I transferred the soup to a larger stovetop pot and added the noodles to reach the final product:

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OK, so the verdict as agreed upon by both SportsBoy and me – the tomato flavor was too overpowering. My recommendation would be to NOT add the juices with the two cans of stewed tomatoes. If more liquid is needed, I think water would be fine.  Also, yeah, you need a 6 qt pot!! Another thing I would do is not add the ground beef until closer to the end. Having it in there that long made it pretty rubbery. IOW – it was good enough that we both ate all of our large bowls, and I would make it again, but only with those changes. It’s a good basic recipe that needs some help.

*The August Moms, purveyors of knowledge on all topics. Can answer all questions regarding the mysteries of life – particularly when pertaining to parenting and cooking. Everyone should have an August Mom group in their life.*

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6 thoughts on “Pasta Fagioli (or why my crock pot WAS too small!)

  1. songbird

    the soup looks good, though. are you planning to make it again?

    Yes, with the changes I mentioned though to reduce the overpowering tomato flavor.

  2. I am glad you had a wonderful Dream Dinners experience and enjoied the Fiesta Fajita Shredded Beef. We are the ultimate buy in bulk and save way to have a home cooked dinner and does cost less than buying the same ingredients at a grocery store. It is also very eco friendly, so much less packaging when you buy in bulk. We actually have children on our tasting panels; it is amazing to see what kids will really eat. We put kids in a box when we only feed them “white foods”. Don’t miss our new Dream Rewards program, where you will receive gifts and other specials. You can get even more ideas and crock pot instructions on my blog Take care. http://stephanieallen.wordpress.com/

  3. shermeister

    OK, but I have this irrational fear of the crockpot catching on fire while we are at work… I will use it on the weekends during the winter (which is the season for it). But I’m still unsure about leaving it on during the workday… cats and dogs and such… Call me crazy paranoid, go ahead. :)

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