Wagon wheel pasta is such a fun shape. In Italian, it’s called rotelle, which means little wheels. I use wagon wheels in pasta e fagioli, a hearty pasta and bean soup.
Pasta e Fagioli With Wagon Wheel Pasta
Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) is comfort food at its finest It’s loaded with both beef and veggies and doesn’t hit you with any strong or exotic flavors (unless you go heavy on the Tabasco sauce). It is most notably found at Olive Garden, but they use ditalini pasta. Making it with wagon wheels pasta makes it extra fun and kids love it!
The recipe makes nine quarts – so get out a big stock pot and cook it up to share with friends, or freeze some to enjoy on that first snowy day when you don’t want to leave the house.
Best Tips for Cooking
You can play around with the measurements in this recipe. If you love carrots, go ahead and add more. If you don’t love beans, add less.
Wagon wheel pasta takes 7-8 minutes to cook. Refer to the package for exact cooking time recommendations.
When using this pasta in soup recipes, cook the pasta separately. If you cook the pasta in the soup or mix it with the soup before serving, it will become too soggy.
For use in soups or in pasta bakes, it is better to undercook than to overcook the pasta. You don’t want it to get soggy.
Other Wagon Wheel Pasta Recipe Ideas
Try these fun kid-friendly pasta ideas for something different:
- lasagna cupcakes (Try using wagon wheels instead of lasagna noodles!)
- butternut squash mac and cheese cupcakes (You can substitute wagon wheels for macaroni in any mac and cheese recipe)
- wagon wheel pasta salad
Pasta e Fagioli with Wagon Wheel Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 4 large carrots sliced thin
- 4 stalks celery sliced thin
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 43.5 ounces diced tomatoes 3 14.5 ounce cans, not drained
- 16 ounces light red kidney beans drained
- 16 ounces great northern beans drained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cubes beef bouillon
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 5 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- 26.5 ounces spaghetti sauce
- 1 pound wagon wheel pasta cooked according to package instructions
- Place oil and ground beef in large stew pot or kettle. Saute until beef is browned.
- Add onions, celery, carrots and diced tomatoes.
- Allow the meat and vegetables to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add beans to the meat and vegetables.
- Add the beef broth, beef stock, Italian seasoning, chopped parsley, Tabasco, pepper, and spaghetti sauce.
- Bring the soup to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for several hours.
- Serve over cooked wagon wheel pasta.
- Optionally, sprinkle with shredded parmesan or Italian blend cheeses.