Cool nights and hot, hearty soup with chewy-good cheese bread; It doesn’t get better than this

recipe box final

Hot, hearty soup filled with vegetables and pasta is complemented by warm, cheesy bread. (Photo provided)


by Annette Kukoy and Jackie Shayotovich


      Thanks to Peggy Skorupa for sharing this delicious and classic pasta e fagioli recipe. Serve it with the fast and easy cheese bread that’s loaded with flavor. The marbled cookies are a favorite of Annette Kukoy and go well with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.


Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli

1-1/2 teaspoons cooking oil

1 lb. ground beef

6 ounces chopped onions

7 ounces diced celery

24 ounces canned diced tomatoes

1 cup red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

44 ounces beef broth

1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1-1/4 teaspoons black pepper

2-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

24 ounces spaghetti sauce

4 ounces uncooked ditalini pasta


      Sauté the beef in oil in large 10 quart pot until it starts to brown. Add the onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Simmer for about ten minutes; add beans. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the pasta. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Cook the pasta according to package directions; add to the soup just before serving.


Cheese Bread

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2-1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and diced to ¼-inch pieces

3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

1-1/4 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 large egg


      Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan with vegetable spray, and then sprinkle three tablespoons grated Parmesan over the bottom of the pan.

      Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, mustard, cayenne, and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the cheddar and three tablespoons of grated Parmesan.

      In a separate bowl whisk the buttermilk, oil and egg together. Fold into the flour mixture. Do not over mix. The batter will be heavy and thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan over the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean - 45 to 50 minutes – rotating the pan halfway through baking.

      Let the loaf cool in the pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove loaf from the pan and let cool completely on rack for an hour.


Marbled Cookies

1-1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly


      In medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; mix until blended. Add the flour mixture; beating just until combined. Remove half the dough and set it aside.

      Whisk the cocoa into the melted chocolate; add to the dough remaining in the mixing bowl and beat briefly to blend.

      Divide the chocolate and vanilla doughs into eight pieces each. Recombine the pieces, alternately pressing the chocolate and vanilla pieces together to create a marbled ball. Roll and shape the ball into a nine-inch long log. Wrap in plastic and chill until very firm, 2 to 3 hours.

      To bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees; line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the chilled log into 1/4-inch thick slices and place on the baking sheets. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, nine to 11 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for five minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


         Annette Kukoy is a member of St. Thomas More Parish in Munster. Jackie Shayotovich belongs to Ss. Peter and Paul in Merrillville

         Editor’s note: After many years of sharing recipes with our Northwest Indiana Catholic readers, Annette and Jackie and ready to “hang up their aprons.” If you’d like to thank them and wish them well, contact Annette at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jackie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .