Every Italian family makes minestrone with their own twist depending on what vegetables are in season, what they currently have in the fridge, region of the country, and family preferences. In the winter it’s served hot or warm and in the summer room temperature or even slightly cool. It’s a staple all year around in our home. Growing up my mother usually served minestrone on Sunday’s and cleared the fridge of most veggie odds and ends. This recipe is adapted from my mother and grandmother. The smell and tastes always remind me of home no matter where I am.
Made with Amore,
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
4 large carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
1 bunch of celery, diced
3 medium zucchini, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup of cut green beans, may use frozen
1 1/2 cups cut leaf spinach, may use frozen
1 large can diced tomatoes, 28 oz
1 can cannellini beans, 15 oz
7 cups of water (or fill the tomato can twice with water)
Salt and pepper
Toppings: fresh basil, parsley, and grated parmigiano reggiano
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add garlic, onion, carrots, celery, red pepper, zucchini and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Add cannellini beans, and 7 cups water; bring to a low boil. Stir in green beans and spinach.*
3.Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; and basil. Serve sprinkled with parmigiano and, if using, torn basil and parsley. Drizzle with more oil, if desired.
*omit any vegetables you do not like and add any that you do! Such as: potato, cabbage, or a different variety of beans.
NO KNEAD BREAD
-RECIPE FROM NYT MAGAZINE
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
- 1 5/8 cups water
- In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
- Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
- Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
- At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack