So dinner last night came from the best inspiration around: The lady on the bottom left hand corner of this pictureJ
Yep! That's my Grandmom (and that little blinking chick...yep, that's me back in the dayJ) So since I have been DROP DEAD LOVVVVVVVVVVING SOUPS lately (if you haven't noticed!), combined with the fact that it was VERYYYYY CHILLY yesterday, my mind swirled at what kind of soup I wanted to try my hand at last night. And despite previously purchasing all of the ingredients for my beloved Apple Cheddar Soup, I just could NOT get past the idea of a WARM bowl of pasta fagioli (pasta & beans) soup....
Now, my Grandmother is probably (AGAIN) somewhere cursing me because I probably stamped my foot every time she made this back in the day (sorry, Grandma!), but I think she'd be happy that for at least one day, I carried on her tradition of making soups on MondaysJ (I said to Scott: "My Grandmother always made soups on Mondays, and we always makes salads." To which he said: "Yeah, but she probably didn't eat as bad as we do on the weekends." The man speaks the truthJ) hhahhahahaha
So annyyyyyywayy....after REPEATEDLY getting a busy signal while trying to call my Aunt to get a recipe for the soup (my family who's reading this KNOWS who I'm talking about!J) hahahahahaha, I decided to scour the internet and see what I could come up with.
And ya know what I came up with??? Tons of recipes with ingredients like pancetta, fresh rosemary & thyme sprigs.
Don't get me wrong, I love pancetta & fresh rosemary as much as the next girl, but from what I remember Pasta Fagioli is that it's sort of a "peasants dish" and I don't remember "specialty ingredients" ever being tossed into my Grandma's soup. (nor do I think my Great Grandmother raising 6 kids had any layin around eitherJ) hahahahaha....so I did what I figured they would have done: I made my soup with stuff I had laying around the kitchenJ
First into the pot went:
- 1 diced onion
- 1 peeled & diced carrot
- 2 diced celery stalks
- 3 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- salt & pepper
Cook everything together until the onions are tranlucent...
Next, I added a can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes (breaking them with my spoon as they cooked...)
I also added about 5 cups of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of tomato pasta & a rouge leftover bag of frozen peas I had in my freezer (now actually changing the name of the soup to Pasta Piselli-pasta & peas...but whateverJ). I brought the liquid to a boil and then let it simmer on low for 15 minutes.
Next came my little "untraditional" part. Pasta Fagioli is normally made with ditalini (small tubes) or elbow pasta, but I had recently saw a recipe for soup made with Orecchiette and knew I had to try it. I'll show you why in a secJ
I added about 1/2 a bag of the pasta to the soup and let it cook on high for about 10 minutes.
Finally...the "fagioli" part of the soup: a drained & rinsed can of both red & cannellini beans...
Stir it all up & cook for 3 minutes or until the beans are warmed through.
Result: HEARTY AND THICK SOUP PACKED with pasta & beans! Just FABULOUS!!!!!!
A little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese...
...and one too many slices of fresh Italian bread and we called it dinner.
Butttttt....I found a pretty comparable duplicate to this chocolate delight and it won't require a passport or an exchange to Euros! Yes, my beloved Bent Spoon makes a pretty DEAD accurate carbon copy of this SINFUL & luscious treat.
Image thick chocolate pudding warmed & covered with a mound of fresh vanilla bean whipped cream. Yep....it's as amazing and sinful as it sounds. TOTALLY decadent and unlike any standard hot chocolate you've ever tried this side of the Atlantic. If you're in the area and in the need to kick a serious chocolate craving...give it a whirl! (PS-I'll let you know how it compares to ROMAN hot cocoa in a couple weeksJ)
Alright...that's one warm postJ Wish I had ALL of the above as I tried to slink out of my bed this morning to do some yoga! It was chilllyJ Anyone else REFUSE to turn the heat on yet????
Have a great Tuesday, everyone!