Since we were both feeling under the weather, I thought we could do with some nourishing comfort food. I had already made my own chicken stock the day before so I decided to cook up minestrone. The base recipe I used was Neil Perry's from his book "The food I love". But me, being me, I couldn't but help put my own touch to it. The original recipe called for water but I decided to give it that extra lift and used my chicken stock (easily made from chicken bones, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper and simmered for 4 hours). Neil's version also didn't have any pasta but I added macaroni. When I first made this, I thought it didn't have that full tomato flavour that I like in minestrones so at the end of the long simmer, I added tomato sauce. Now don't laugh... this really works!
This is best served in a bowl sitting under a thick doona, in from of the TV snuggling with your loved one... and oh, with soft fresh bread.
- 1 can of cannellini beans, drained
- olive oil
- 2 rashes of bacon, diced
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves smashed
- 3 celery stalks finely diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 12 green beans, cut into 1cm pieces
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 litres of chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 75grams macaroni pasta
- handful of parsley leaves, chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce(or ketchup)
- Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan and sweat the bacon.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and salt. Sauté for about 7-8 minutes
- Add the tomato paste and beans and cook a further 2-3 minutes
- Add the tomatoes, parsley, bay leaves and the stock.
- Bring to the boil and let simmer for 40 to 50 minutes.
- Add the pasta, stir and cook for 9 minutes
- Add the cannellini beans and simmer for another 5 minutes
- Check the season, adding more salt and pepper if necessary and add the tomato sauce.
- To serve, remove the bay leaves and pour into bowls.
- Grate parmesan on top and serve with crusty bread