Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bare Bones II begins -- Pasta Fazool

Winter's still hanging on...and your wallet feels surprisingly empty. (Darn Christmas presents, anyway.) What to do, when your expenses aren't meeting your income?
     ...Or you're saving for a new car
     ...Or graduation...
     ...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.


'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.

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