Even More Italian Food!

This weekend, I got to do some more Italian cooking! Saturday night, my program had an Italian Night, and the dinner was a potluck. Collectively, we compiled an impressive smorgasbord of food: pasta and risotto and smoked salmon and brie and pizza and biscotti and more! And for dessert, so much gelato! (Jealous? I thought so.)

After giving it some thought, I decide that my contribution would be soup. It’s relatively easy, and cheap, and something that I didn’t think anybody else would think to bring, so it seemed like a solid idea. In retrospect, not so. I overlooked the fact that once made I would have to somehow transport the soup from my kitchen to campus. As it turns out, crockpots are not meant to be carried over long distances. Just getting to the bus stop was a struggle. Walking through campus, a herculean feat. The doctor tells me that I’ll be able to straighten my arms again one day. Maybe.

But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. Before I had to deal with the issue of moving the soup, I had to make it. So, I found a recipe for “Pasta de Fageoli Soup” in my Eco-Harmony Dawn Cookbook. Fortunately, my roommate’s parents were in town the night before, and they made a trip to the grocery store and were nice enough to assemble my ingredients for me. At least I didn’t have to carry that stuff anywhere. (Thank you Gillian & family!)

Some of my beautiful ingredients

Anyway, in case you’re wondering what pasta fageoli (sometimes spelled fagioli, fyi) is, its very similar to minestrone. In fact, minestrone was what I initially intended to make, before I happened upon the fageoli recipe. Now, I’d never made it before, but the internet tells me (and the internet always tells the truth) that the difference between the two is that fagioli is thicker, and minestrone is less likely to have beans. There doesn’t seem to be a well defined line, but they’re both delicious, so I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter.

Now that we’ve got that more or less (probably less) straightened out, I’ll show you how to actually make the stuff. Here’s the recipe:

4 carrots
3 celery stalks
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 28oz can of tomatoes
2 1L cartons of soup stock
2 tsp basil
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup pesto
1 can of white beans
1/2 box (2 cups) of pasta (I used whole wheat fusilli. You can use any pasta shape, but I recommend using whole wheat pasta because it doesn’t get as soggy)

To start with, chop up the carrots, celery stalks, and onions, mince the garlic,If I'd ordered it right, I could have made an Irish flag. Which wouldn't have made any sense. Now, if carrots were red... and fry them in olive oil in a large pot. (The “large” part of the pot is key. This recipe make a lot of soup. The muscles in my forearms can attest to that.) Once they’re tender, add the tomatoes and stock.

After adding the tomatoes and the first carton of soup stock

Bring it to a boil, then add all of the spices, the pesto, and the pasta. Cook it until you’re satisfied that the pasta is done (15 minutes or so)

Now, you can serve it, or you can put it in a crock pot, carry it 2km up the road and then serve it, but I strongly suggest you do the former. I’d also suggest sprinkling on some fresh parsely or some parmesan cheese, although this suggestion is a less forceful one.

Sadly, most of the finished product has been consumed by now, but here’s what I’m eating for lunch tomorrow. (It’s going to be a good day, I can tell!)

Yay, leftovers!

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