...Or you're saving for a new car
...Or an upcoming trip?
It's time to go back to the bare bones -- of fine cooking, that is. We've done Bare Bones series before; this one will focus on that workhorse, Pasta.
It's invaluable for a good, hearty meal that will keep you going. "Carb-loading" is famous for runners and other athletes, because its effects can fuel your body for hours. Now that gluten-free pasta is available, even allergy-prone families can enjoy a warm, steaming plate of spaghetti. Served with a green salad and veggies, it's a tasty mainstay.
First up: PASTA FAZOOL. This easy-to-make soup warms on a cold, bleak night. Try the leftovers warmed up for a quick lunch, too. This version is based on an old Italian grandma's recipe: the best kind.
- 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup onion, Finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, Minced
- 1 carrot, Finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, Finely chopped
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
- water, as needed
- 2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans (Drained)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 6 tablespoons parsley
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 8 ounces tiny pasta shells
- 1 lb ground beef round
- 1⁄2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- salt and pepper
'Meatballs' area first! Mix ingredients together, form into marble-sized meatballs and put in a 350-degree oven to bake while you assemble the rest of the soup.
Using a large soup kettle, saute the chopped vegetables in the olive oil for a few minutes. Gradually add the rest of the ingredients, stirring as you go. The meatballs should be lightly browned and bubbling; add them to the soup. Simmer for a few hours. (Or put in a slow cooker on low for 7-10 hours.) This soup really does need time for the flavors to blend, so don't skimp.
Serves 4-6 hungry people, with a slice of garlic bread. Add a platter of sliced raw veggies, if you want to be extra-healthy.