Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Minestrone Pasta with Crispy Bacon

Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray. I didnt have any zucchini, so I chopped up a fresh tomato instead. I added 1 Tbsp minced garlic to the onions in the pan. I also substituted 2 cups vegatable broth for 2 cups of water to add a bit more flavor. I added 1/2 cup of toasted pinenuts just because I had been wanting to use them for awhile and I thought they would be good. This would be so easy to make into a vegetarian dish by just leaving out the bacon and sauteing the onions in 2 Tbsp olive oil. All in all it was very good. I prepped it a couple hrs before and cooked the bacon ahead of time. I usually prep dinner in the afternoons when Charlie is napping. Then at dinner time I can tell Carl to take the boys outside for a bit while I throw it all together as quickly as possible. It usually works well.

6 slices thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped (about 6 ounces)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound short pasta, such as ditalini (1 1/2 cups)
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
2 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 cup chopped basil, parsley and mint
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes; reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat and drain the bacon on paper towels.

In a large saucepan, heat the bacon fat over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add 4 cups water and the salt and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender and the liquid is more than halfway absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the beans, zucchini and peas and season with salt and pepper. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are fork-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan, herbs and lemon peel.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta and vegetables to bowls. Top with more parmesan and the reserved bacon.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Minestrone is my all time favorite soup, so this pasta is just calling my name. Looks fabulous!