12 May 2009

Today's Menu: EASY Minestrone

So since I won't be shopping until after dinner tonight, I am going back to the Marinara/spaghetti sauce recipes. They are quick. They are easy. And I usually have all the ingredients on hand.

Easy Italian Minestrone
from Food Network's "50 things to do with Marinara"
#8 Minestrone Soup: Boil 1 jar pasta sauce and 5 cups water. Stir in cooked small pasta, chopped mixed vegetables, canned beans and grated parmesan cheese; cook until vegetables are tender.
And since I change everything... :)

My Revised Easy Italian Minestrone

1/2 lb Turkey Sausage link ($1.5026/lb- 1/2 lb= 75¢)
1 jar favorite pasta sauce (approx $1.50 jar)
2 cups chicken broth ($1.50/box - 1/2 box = 75¢)
1 bag frozen Italian veggies (12 oz. = $1.50)
1 can canelli/white beans (12 oz = 68¢)
1/2lb sm. pasta- mine? Gemelli ($1.26/box- 1/2 box= 63¢)
I usually get AT LEAST 1 meal and a lunch out of this.. sometimes 2-3 lunches extra to freeze.. depends on how hungry everyone is.
Total Meal $5.81
with an italian sausage splurge you only add pennies!

Start boiling a pot of water for pasta. Remember to salt when boiling, add pasta and cook until just under "al dente".. take 1-2 minutes of suggested cooking time. Drain and toss with just a drizzle of olive oil, or any light oil if you're out.

In seperate pot:
Add sauce and broth and bring to simmer.
Slice sausage into thin 1/2 moons (half the slice)
Add sausage and frozen veggies and return to simmer.
Add enough water to make a soup consistency.
When all veggies thaw/warm through, add beans to simmer.

Add pasta and simmer until tender, adding water as needed to keep soup consistency. (Sorry I've never measured the water, lol)

Try serving with saltines. Garnish with any fresh herbs -- parsley, basil, minced onion or chives.

It's the little touches.. broth, fresh herbs, olive oil on pasta... that make the dish taste authentic and like you slaved all day. AND IT TOOK ME 25 MINUTES!


This is my little one demanding in on the picture action
as she chows down on her minestrone, LOL!


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