Sunday, July 27, 2008

On My Hearth: An Unseasonal Meal

Since we ended up eating leftovers on Wednesday, I never made the Shortcut Minestrone. So, that will be on the menu for today as it's rainy & dreary outside and not a good day for grilling. It's too hot for soup, I know, but we'll just turn down the a/c and dig in!

I'm actually going to put this in my crockpot, adding cooked pasta at the end. I'm also eliminating the bacon and substituting veggie broth for the beef to make it vegetarian. In addition, I'm going to try some bread sticks from the Domestick Goddess, they sound delicious and perfect since I don't have any yeast in my pantry.

Shortcut Minestrone

4 bacon strips, diced
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
4 cups beef broth
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans,rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup uncooked pasta shells
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup frozen cut green beans
grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, saute onion and carrots for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer.

2. Stir in spaghetti sauce, broth and beans. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta, brown sugar, basil and oregano. Cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Add green beans; cook 5 minutes longer or until heated through. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired and bacon.

Soft Breadsticks

1 ¼ cups flour
2 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅔ cup milk
3 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Combine dry ingredients and gradually add milk to form a soft dough.
Knead gently 3 or 4 times on a floured surface.
Roll out into a rectangle about 10″ x 5″ and cut into 12 sticks.

Put the melted butter into a large baking dish (I use a 13″ x 9″ rectangular glass dish) and turn the breadsticks to coat them with the butter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if you like.

Bake at 450°F for 14 to 18 minutes.
Serve warm.


linda said...

wow, I want to print this whole thing out and give it to my hubby to make! it looks so good... :)

Debbie said...

Hi - I just wandered over here as I explore blogland. I love the recipes and will give a few of them a try. I enjoyed my visit.

Rapunzel said...

Linda, it was absolutely delish! Even Beren, who is a major carnivore, gobbled it right up w/o noticing the lack of meat! Let me know if you try it, ok?

Rapunzel said...

Debbie, welcome to the castle! Please stop by again anytime. :-)

rjleaman said...

I'm so glad you found my breadstick recipe, and hope it turns out to be as popular with your crowd as it is with ours! (Let me know?)

One DG reader also had great suggestions for a couple variations to try, too: who doesn't like cinnamon and sugar?! :-)

Rapunzel said...

rjleaman, thanks so much for visiting the castle!

The breadsticks were *awesome*! Unfortunately I have devoured way too many myself..blush...I'll definitely make them again, thinking a bit of garlic in the dough would be delish. ??

rjleaman said...

Oh, I am so glad you liked them! And yes, totally, a bit of garlic... I'm trying that when I make some tomorrow for company supper: you can never have too much garlic and baked goods on a rainy grey chilly weekend (which is what we've got here): maybe I'll give your minestrone a shot to go with! :)