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GG>- Finished.. : I'd make this or a variation of it again.
Minestrone with White Beans and Italian Sausage
The Italian minestra refers to a variety of moderately thick soups. Minestrone is a hearty vegetable-filled minestra that often contains beans and sometimes pasta.
We've omitted the pasta here
but added some Italian sausage. With minestrone, it seems, there is no end to the delectable variations. (Mike will add some pasta)
4oz dry Ditalini pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed and cut into bite size chunks
3/4 onion, large dice
1 rib celery, large dice
1 carrot large dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
15.5 oz drained and rinsed canned white beans, preferably cannellini beans
~3-4 cups water (I used 1 1/2 half cups of chicken stock, the rest water)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice (with green chiles) you know, in the can.
0 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
9oz pound spinach, stems removed and leaves washed well (about 1 1/2 quarts)
Grated Parmesan or Manchego (I used Manchego) cheese, for serving
Bring 5 qts of water to a boil, salt well, drop and stir the Ditalini pasta into the water. Cook stirring some for 8 minutes only. Drain and flash the pasta with cold water to cool, set it aside drained.
In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon.
I skinned the sausage and let each link (3) get fairly firm before I fork-cut-up each link into a bunch of small bite-size chunks.
Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, oregano and bay leaf to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.
take 2/3 of the beans added 1/2 cup chicken stock and put them in a narrow container smash them with a good potato masher so there would be some texture. add the 1/3 of the beans whole
Add the tomatoes, the bean puree, the whole beans, the remaining water, the salt, and the pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Stir in the sausage. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, add the pasta let it cook for 3-4 minutes then add the spinach. Simmer until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Serve the soup topped with grated Cheese, and pass more Cheese at the table.
Just added the pasta
Added the spinach
Serve it up, there really is a bunch of good soup broth in bowl, it is just heaped high with the ingredients.
GG>- Jason what you add or subtract from this old recipe according to the region of Italy you were from?