Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not Your Grandma's Minestrone

My husband is a big fan of minestrone. Huge.

If I'm being honest, he just is enamored with all Italian food. When I mentioned maybe wanting to attempt minestrone from scratch, he got all weird and giddy.

At some point as I was assembling an ingredients list, he asked if I was going to put meat in it. My answer was no, of course, because there isn't meat in it. His response....well, could there be? Sure, dear. Whatever you want.

Then I made it and it was delicious.


Fair warning, there is a lot of prep work that goes into this, so give yourself time for the peeling and the chopping. Start to finish this takes approximately 2 hours. I forgot to get spinach, which is supposed to be in it. Tasted fine without it, but you could add it if you want.

If you want to omit the meat, no big deal. If you want to omit the pasta, I would cut the water by a cup or so.

Taken the next day, so more of the water has been absorbed by the pasta.
Was "soupier" last night.
- 1/2 cup butter
- one large yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 cups of green beans, cut into small sections
- 3 medium or 2 larger zucchini, chopped
- half a head of cabbage, chopped
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (whole can, undrained)
- 2 tbsp dried beef bouillon
- 9 cups water
- 1/2 pound small pasta
- 1 16 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 16 oz. can white cannelini beans, rinsed
- 12 ounces italian sausage, browned and drained

It's a list. I know. Sorry.

Saute the onion, celery and carrots in the butter in a large stockpot until the onion is clear and the carrot and celery just start to brown. Add the green beans, the zucchini, the cabbage, the tomatoes, water and bouillon. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add pasta directly to the pot. Bring back up to boiling, then reduce a little. Simmer for about 20 more minutes. Brown the sausage in a separate pan, then add it and the beans to the pot.

Stir everything together and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

If you cook it too long, the vegetables will all get soggy and the noodles overdone, so err on the side of less time rather than more.

Makes about 12 servings.

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