From Kelly’s Kitchen–Crock Pot Pasta e Fajioli Soup

So many of you have asked if I miss food blogging. Honestly, I’m so busy speaking and writing and traveling that I don’t know where I’d add it in on a regular basis. But I still do enjoy feeding people and clearly I like to eat! While I won’t promise you monthly recipes, I will make every attempt to share a recipe now and again.

Here’s a favorite soup recipe that is perfect this time of year as the leaves are falling and outside temperatures are dropping. It’s great for feeding a crowd and you can make it in a Crock Pot for sensational results. Just a little prep on the front end (about 30 minutes to cook the meat, open the cans and chop the veggies) is all it takes and then your slow cooker will do the rest. At the end of the day, you’ll walk into your house to an amazing fragrance and a delicious dinner.


•1 pound ground beef

•1 pound Italian sausage

•½ teaspoon salt for meat

•½ teaspoon black pepper for meat

•½ cup dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon, but any red will do)

•1 6-ounce can tomato paste

•1 medium onion finely chopped

•1 pound carrots peeled and sliced

•1 14 1/2- ounce can fire-roasted canned tomatoes

•8 cups beef broth

•1 tablespoon brown sugar

•1 tablespoon dried oregano

•2 tablespoons pesto (I used jarred pesto from Prego)

•2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

•1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

•1 teaspoon salt

•2 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed

•1 ¼ cups small pasta uncooked (small shells or ditalini work well)

•fresh parsley to garnish for serving (a nice touch, but not necessary)

•freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving


1. Brown ground beef and Italian sausage and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt & pepper in a medium size pot over medium-high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up meat. With a large spoon or spatula, push meat to one side and tip pot so that any grease will accumulate on the other side. Remove any accumulated grease with a spoon or sop up with paper towels and discard.

2.  Add the red wine to the meat and bring to a steady simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until almost all the wine has evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to your slow cooker.

3.  Add all remaining ingredients except pasta, parsley and cheese. Cover and cook on low power for 7-8 hours.

4.  Just before serving, cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and add to soup.*  Serve soup with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!

This makes a large batch that will serve at least 12 people. 

  • If you’re not serving all of the soup right away, you may want to store the soup and pasta separately as the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid from the soup. In this case, just place about a half cup of pasta in each bowl and ladle soup mixture on top to serve. 

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