Saturday, 13 November 2010

eat your minestrone Joe...

...that's all you ever say!

ahh... a steaming bowl of Minestrone... could there be anything more comforting on an autumn afternoon?...

... or anything more difficult to pin down an actual authentic recipe?... there seem to be so many, from the traditional to the contemporary... from 'my mothers' to 'my great grand-fathers... only Italian men can really make a minestrone'... oh and then some start with bacon (which The Big V wouldn't appreciate) and some use cannelloni beans... some use pasta, some rice... they all do have a few things is common, such as they all start with the classic Italian triumvirate of onion, celery and carrot, resembling the Italian flag... and mine is really just a variation of the classic, with a few of my own little twists...

oh and really simple to make... much needed after the event we just got back from in Birmingham this week... lets just say that I'm screaming inside... and leave it at that...

My Minestrone

one medium onion - finely chopped
2 sticks celery - finely chopped
1 carrot - finely chopped
1 medium leek - chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 pints of good veg stock
a handful of fine green beans - chopped into thirds
a large handful of chopped cabbage
2 garlic cloves - crushed
a mixture of fresh herbs
a glass of pink champagne
a handful of teeny pasta (I found these adorable baby egg conchigliette that fit the bill perfectly)
grated cheese

- first rule of any minestrone... make this in the morning... or even the night before... there's something magical in the fact that it needs to go cold and then heat up again before it tastes divine!

- in melted butter and olive oil, saute the onions in a heavy pan or casserole dish until translucent, then add the carrots and celery and then the leek, place the lid on and let them sweat for 5 mins.

- take the lid off, season, add the garlic and herbs and let them saute some more.

- turn up the heat and add a glass of white wine (we had some left over pink champagne... like you do!)

- once the liquid has reduced add the tin of tomatoes and the stock

- add the cabbage and green beans and a couple of bay leaves, place the lid on and let it simmer for 30 mins

- turn the heat off, add the pasta and let it cool.

- heat to serve and sprinkle with a strong grated cheddar (for the true vegetarian) or the classic parmesan.

eat and of course, enjoy!



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