Saturday, June 25, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Traditional Beef & Bean Chili and Pasta Fagioli

We were in Colorado last week, and the weather was much different than the Texas heat; it actually snowed one day! While there I noticed a magazine laying around our house with "great winter recipes". It was a calling for some cooking experimentation. I ended up making a chili and soup recipe from the magazine.

Traditional Beef & Bean Chili
makes 10 servings

2 pounds ground round
1 large onion, diced
1 sweet red pepper, cored and diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
6 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 can (28 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cans (15 ounces each) dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Sour cream and chopped scallions, for serving (optional)

1) Coat a large heavy bottomed pot with nonstick cooking spray. Add ground beef and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook 4 minutes. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne. Cook 1 minute.

2) Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, tomato paste, and salt. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and stir in beans. Heat through, then serve garnished with sour cream and scallions, if desired.

From my experience: I altered this recipe so I could finish it in the slow-cooker. I did as directed in step 1, then threw it all in the Crockpot. To stretch the recipe, I used a little extra meat and another can of the tomatoes with their juice but also added the whole small can of tomato paste to keep it thick. I also added alot more chili powder, cumin, and oregano. To make it a little healthier, I used half ground turkey and half lean ground beef. I couldn't get a picture and we ended up not having enough for our large crowd it was so good; I should have added another can of beans and/or more meat. Enjoy!

Pasta Fagioli
makes 8 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
2 cans (14.5ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces (about 2 cups) small pasta shells
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 bunch fresh kale, tough stems discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces and washed
2 cans small white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving

1) Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.

2) Stir in tomatoes, broth and 3 cups water.
Bring to a simmer over high heat. Add pasta, and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.

3) Stir in kale; cook 5 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium and stir in beans, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Heat through.

4) Ladle into bowls; garnish with Parmesan.

From my experience: I made this in the slow-cooker as well and just threw it all in the pot. I used another can of the tomatoes and the whole can of tomato paste again since the effect was so good on the chili recipe. To simplify things and stretch the soup, I used the 32-ounce carton of chicken broth. I added more noodles to accommodate for the extra liquid. This recipe was so simple, because everything cooked in the Crockpot, even the noodles. It also healthy and yummy too! Enjoy!

Recipes found in the February 2011 edition of Family Circle magazine.


  1. Wow! how spicy it is! After reading your blog now i just want to try it as soon as possible. love to have your
    chili recipe .

  2. This looks awesome! Going to have to try this for my next cookout or tailgating chili party .

  3. That is my go-to chili recipe too. Got it from Family Circle magazine.