Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pasta & Potatoes Minestra

The Italian version of mirepoix, a sauteed mixture of celery, carrot, and onion, is called soffritto. Rome-based food blogger, Rachel Roddy, begins her simple but satisfying pasta and potatoes soup with it.

Garnished with Parmesan shavings and rosemary

Our fridge was missing the celery, so the soffritto became subtracto, but was tasty quand même.

A sprig of rosemary fresh from our winter potager puts a smile on subtracto's face

There is lots of olive oil in this soup, enrobing the ingredients in a silky sheath.

My pasta choice was linguine broken into small segments.

serves four

  • Onion, 1 medium, finely chopped
  • Celery, 1 stick, finely chopped
  • Carrot, 1 medium, finely chopped
  • Rosemary, fresh, a sprig (scrape the leaves off, saving a few for garnishing) or 2 bay leaves
  • Potatoes, 2 medium (about 600 grams of any kind  I used all purpose), peeled & chunked
  • Olive oil, extra virgin, 6 T
  • Stock or water (I used homemade chicken broth), 1.4 litres
  • Pasta, 170 g (quadrucci, pastina, farfalle, or broken spaghetti/linguine*)
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • Pecorino or Parmesan

Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Toss in the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir occasionally—soffritto means stir fryover moderate heat for about ten minutes. The veggies need to be translucent and aromatic.

Add the potatoes and the rosemary or bay leaves. Stir for about a minute to coat them with oil.

Pour in the stock or water and cook for about fifteen minutes or until a test potato is soft enough to be crushed. Add the pasta and cook for another ten or fifteen minutes or till the pasta has the desired tenderness. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve in soup plates and garnish with Parmesan or Pecorino shavings and chopped fresh rosemary leaves.

The hot soup melted the Parmesan shavings into a delectable gooey mass

Minestre which are thick Italian soups/stews are named thusly because the soup is dished-out, that is, administered by the head of the household. A lovely soup in flavour and fragrance, I am looking forward tomorrow to administering myself another bowl or two.

I am guessing it will taste better if that is even possible the next day

À la prochaine!

Related Links

*Pasta shapes and synonyms
Rachel Roddy's blog

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