Tag Archives: fast

Minestrone

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I’m going through some of the things I’ve made recently but haven’t posted, so there will probably be another flurry of activity for a few days and then silence again for months, sorry!

Minestrone is a hearty and healthy soup that’s easy to whip up mid-week. The wee bit of pancetta adds a nice smoky touch, but if you’re a veggie leave it out and you’ll be none the wiser.

Ingredients:

  • 50 grams of pancetta, diced (or tiras de beicon)
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 100 grams fresh or frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 400 g cans of tomato puree (triturado)
  • 1 jar white beans (mongetes or cannelli, whatever you can get your hands on), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 liter of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and thyme
  • bay leaf
  • black pepper and sea salt, to taste

Instructions: 

Heat a soup pot over medium heat, add a lug of olive oil and the pancetta/bacon, fry the bacon until it starts to brown, then add in the leeks and onion. Scrape up the bits of browned bacon that have become stuck to the bottom of the pot and continue to sauté until the onion starts becoming translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, until you can smell the garlic frying. Add the carrots, celery, zucchini and cook slowly for 10 minutes until the veggies start to soften. Add in the spinach, tomato puree, herbs and stock and bring to a boil. Gently stir in the beans and lower heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with pepper and salt to taste.

Serve with grated parmesan and fresh chopped herbs (if you’ve got any) and some nice crusty bread.

Servings: Six, 190 calories (without cheese).

Tortellini Salad

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A big thanks to my mother who recommended I call this recipe Tortellini Salad rather than “Pasta & Salad,” which what we usually refer to it as. Not too inventive calling it by its component parts, but whatever. The henceforth to be called Tortellini Salad is one of our standard midweek dinners as it takes less than 15 minutes to make, is relatively healthy and darned tasty.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh tortellini pasta – we use Giovanni Rana brand, our preferred kind is Gorgonzola & Walnuts but this recipe also goes well with the Pear & Cheese flavor.
  • A bag of salad – we prefer straight up arugula for its peppery kick, but any mix of baby greens will do.
  • Two medium sized tomatoes, chopped coarsely (again, don’t use Roma tomatoes for eating raw,  they are for cooking!) or approx 6 cherry tomatoes per person.
  • Olive oil – best quality, cold pressed.
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt (Maldon if you’ve got it) and pepper

Instructions:

Cook the pasta according to instructions (the kind we use takes a whopping one minute) and drain. In two plates divide the salad mix and tomatoes, then divide the hot pasta over the top. The hot/cold works nicely! Dress salad with a bit of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, to taste. That’s it, time to eat!

Servings: Two. 540 calories per serving.