Minestrone Pasta

Seeing as a couple of people in my family have become sick this past week, I thought soup would be a good choice for a comforting meal.  My aunt had told me about a minestrone recipe she had from a friend’s grandmother and I decided to try it.  I added in beans, bacon grease, and pasta, and forgot the peas!  The pasta proceeded to absorb the broth, which was delicious, but made it so that I could no longer call the dish soup!  I served this alongside pesto bread, which is just a crusty baguette slathered with pesto and finished off in the broiler.  I also topped the pasta with fresh romano cheese.  The vegetables all melded down beautifully together and it was really filling even though there is no meat.  Next time I think I will add a little bit of wine for added flavor. photo 2

Minestrone Pasta

olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 carrots, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup zucchini, chopped

1 cup of cauliflower, chopped

2 cartoons of chicken broth

1 cup of water

1 can of tomatoes or 1 cup of fresh tomatoes

1 cup of asparagus, chopped

1 can cannelloni beans

1 pound small shaped pasta

a couple tablespoons of bacon grease

Directions

Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and add the bacon grease.  The temperature should be on high. Add the chopped onions, garlic, celery, garlic, carrots, and cook for a few minutes.  Add the broth.

Add 2 bay leaves, parsley, water, chopped zucchini, cauliflower and one can of diced tomatoes.

Let the soup boil for about an hour and a half, then add asparagus and pasta.

Allow to cook until the pasta is finished.  I proceeded to cover it up and let the flavors meld for around 6 hours.  I think this dish just gets better the longer you wait.  Enjoy!

Cheddar, Tomato, Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

photo 3

This is a “fancified” version of your traditional grilled cheese sandwich, but it’s still just as comforting! I made mine in a panini press, but you can also grill it on a pan with some butter.

Ingredients 

2 slices of bread (I used whole wheat bread)

2 large slices of tomato

1-2 slices of cheddar cheese (depending on how much cheese you like)

1 onion (chopped into small slices)

olive oil

Procedure

In a hot skillet add a drizzle of olive oil and the chopped onion. Cook the onions, mixing them every few minutes, until they caramelize, or become light brown.

On one slice of  bread, put the cheese. Then add the tomato, and then the caramelized onions. Place the second slice on top.

Put the sandwich in a panini press and grill it until the cheese is well melted.