Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More comfort food: Minestrone!

This minestrone recipe is a favorite around our house. Once I add the seasonings, the family wanders into the kitchen like cats hearing a can opener!

We love to eat this with grilled cheese sandwiches -- but not just any grilled cheese sandwiches. We use Italian sandwich bread from the Publix bakery, sliced cheddar from the cheese case, and slather with lots of butter for crispy, crusty goodness!

Let me know what you think...

My Minestrone

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ medium onion, chopped
1 chub Jimmy Dean Sausage (I prefer the 12-oz reduced fat version)
2 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
2 32-oz boxes chicken broth
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp coarse ground pepper
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into fourths or eighths, then sliced thinly
2 15.5-oz cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
38-oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
3-4 oz fresh baby spinach leaves, cut into strips (remove any long stems)
1 cup dry ditalini pasta

Swirl olive oil into bottom of stockpot, heat to medium. Add garlic, onions, and sausage. Brown on medium to medium-low heat, breaking sausage apart as it cooks. While sausage is browning, prepare carrots and zucchini.

Once sausage is cooked through and broken into small pieces, stir in ¼ cup broth to deglaze pan. Add dry seasoning, salt and pepper, stirring. Allow to simmer a few minutes, then add remainder of chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat. Add carrots, zucchini, beans, tomatoes, and spinach; reduce heat to low.

Simmer covered for 30-60 minutes; return heat to medium/medium-high and add dry pasta. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring often (to prevent pasta from sticking to bottom of pan).

Note: This is easily adaptable to a crockpot once you've deglazed the pan.

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This post was linked on Eat at Home.  

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