Alternate Cooking Method:
Combine beef, broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, water, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in 4-1/2 to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker; toss to coat well. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours or on LOW 8 hours. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)
Stir in mixed vegetables and pasta. Continue cooking, covered, 1 hour or until beef and pasta are tender. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Stir well before serving. Serve with cheese, if desired.
This recipe can be made in a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. Use 1 cup elbow noodles for ditalini. Place beef, broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, water, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in pressure cooker. Close and lock pressure cooker lid. Use beef, stew or high-pressure setting on pressure cooker; program 25 minutes on pressure cooker timer. Use quick-release feature to release pressure; carefully remove lid. Add vegetables and pasta; close and lock pressure cooker, set timer for additional 5 minutes. When complete, use quick-release feature to release pressure; carefully remove lid. Garnish with cheese, if desired. (This recipe variation was tested in an electric pressure cooker at high altitude. Cooking at an altitude of less than 3000 feet may require slightly less cooking time. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.)
Nutrition information per serving: 453 Calories; 99 kcal Calories from fat; 11 g Total Fat; 4 g Saturated Fat; 5 g Monounsaturated Fat; 143 mg Cholesterol; 763 mg Sodium; 33 g Total Carbohydrate; 5.9 g Dietary Fiber; 55 g Protein; 5.8 mg Iron; 6.9 mg NE Niacin; 1.1 mg Vitamin B6; 3.9 mcg Vitamin B12; 12.5 mg Zinc; 50.5 mcg Selenium; 168.6 mg Choline;