RECIPE : MINESTORNE GENOVESE
1/4 pound Cannellini or Borlotti (cranberry) beans, soaked overnight
3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 leeks, washed and chopped, white part only 1 medium eggplant (1 pound), peeled and diced 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 2 ribs celery, sliced 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 2 medium tomatoes, diced 2 cups hot chicken broth 4 cups hot water, plus extra if needed 1 cup chopped raw spinach 1 cup diced zucchini 1 cup shredded green cabbage 1/4 pound vermicelli or stelline pasta 3 tablespoons Basil Pesto Salt and pepper to taste
Drain the beans from the overnight soaking water, place them in a pot, cover with water, cook about 30 minutes or until still quite al dente, and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, leeks, eggplant, carrots, celery and potatoes and sauté for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables just begin to exude their juices.
Add the tomatoes, hot broth, hot water, beans and additional hot water to just cover the mixture. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
Add the spinach, zucchini, cabbage and pasta and cook another 20 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
BASIL PESTO for MINESRONE GENOVESE and to Sauce the PASTA of Your Choice
Who doesn't Love Pesto ? Well I guess there may be some, but for the most part, just about everyone loves this wonderful no-cook Italian Sauce that highlights some of Italy's most iconic ingredients which include ; fresh garden Basil, Italian Olive Oil, garlic, Pignoli Nuts, and Parmigiano Reggiano . In Genoa and Liguria where Pesto was first born and is famous for there, there are primarily two ways to use this wonderful cold sauce, number one is to coat any one of a variety of pasta shapes to make a tasty pasta dish of Maccheroni & Pesto or pesto's second most important use is as the main flavor enhancer of Minestrone Genovese, the greatest vegetable soup of all.
RECIPE : BASIL PESTO
3/4 cup pine nuts (6 ounces)
5 cups basil leaves, chilled and very dry
6 small garlic cloves, quartered
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sealing
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Put the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Toss in the nuts, Parmesan, if using, pepper and salt and chop until the nuts are finely crushed, about 1 minute. Add the basil, oil and lemon juice and pulse for 1 minute more, until smooth.
To store, transfer the pesto to a sterilized jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto, seal and refrigerate up to 10 days or freeze up to 3 months.