slow cooker fagioli

slow cooker fagioli

Ingredients:

·     1 lb. ground beef, extra lean
·     3-4 carrots, sliced
·     4-5 stalks celery, chopped
·     2 teaspoons garlic, minced
·     2 cans (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
·     1 can (15 ounces) dark red kidney beans, undrained
·     1 can (15 ounces) white cannellini beans, undrained
·     24 ounces spaghetti or marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
·     2 tablespoons tomato paste
·     1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
·     3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
·     1 teaspoon oregano, dried
·     1 teaspoon basil, dried
·     1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, dried
·     1 bay leaf
·     3/4 cup ditalini pasta, uncooked
Optional: fresh chopped parsley, finely grated Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons red wine or red wine vinegar

Instructions:

1. On the stove, brown the ground beef thoroughly and pour off the excess grease.
2. Next, add the carrots, celery, and garlic to the slow cooker.
3. Top with all the remaining ingredients except the pasta and stir well. Cover and cook for 3-5 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low.
4. Add the uncooked pasta to the slow cooker, stir, and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high.  Tip: If you prefer, you can boil the pasta separately. Cook until it is just done (al dente), drain, and toss with a splash of red wine or red wine vinegar to offset the acidity of the tomato sauce.  Stir into soup just before serving or serve separately.
5. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if desired. Enjoy!

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