15 December 2012

. . . progressive . . .

. . . there's no real reason 
for posting 
these advent ornaments . . .
. . . i just said i was going to . . . 
. . . and, by golly, 
i'm a girl of my word . . .
. . . scroll quickly if you wish . . .

. . . a fun evening tonight . . .
. . . a progressive dinner
in our neighborhood . . .
. . . salad at three houses . . .
. . . soup and rolls at four houses . . .
. . . dessert and white elephant 
gift exchange all together . . .
. . . so thankful for karen, 
organizer extraordinaire, 
who planned this for us . . .
. . . i am blessed 
to live in a wonderful area . . .

. . . my house was 
one of the soup stops . . .
. . . we welcomed three couples . . .
. . . but, being 
the not-so-comfortable hostess 
that i am 
{chicken with my head cut off comes to mind, 
even though i try so hard to be prepared}
there is only a photo 
of the before table setting . . .
. . . not the cute people 
actually sitting around it 
enjoying each other's company . . .
. . . that figures . . .

. . . i served pasta e fagioli . . . 
. . . which, with all the veggies in there,
 may be closer to minestrone . . .
. . . all i know is 
there are noodles and beans . . .
. . . so ~ pasta e fagioli it is . . .

{and yes, i served it straight out of this crusty pot. 
that'll happen when it simmers all afternoon. it's fine.}

here's the recipe: {it made enough to fill my largest pot,
which happens to be my pressure cooker. reduce accordingly.}

•olive oil
•3 medium onions, diced
•3 cloves garlic {or approximately the equivalent of minced garlic in a jar, which i always use}
•1 bunch celery, diced {including leaves}
•2 bags matchstick carrots
•kosher salt
•fresh ground black pepper
•1 T. italian seasoning
•3 pounds italian sausage {i used the johnsonville brand. it's gluten free. i would rather use something spicier, but all those i checked listed the dreaded msg as an ingredient.}
•2 48-oz. bottles spicy hot v-8 {today i used one bottle spicy hot and one bottle regular out of respect for my dinner guests.}
•1 jar prego traditional style pasta sauce
•3 cans red kidney beans
•3 cans great northern beans
•3 cans petite diced tomatoes
•1 quart chicken broth
•1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese {the powdery kind in the green can}
•1/3 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley

•1 pound ditalini  {cook according to package directions, toss with olive oil and flat leaf parsley}
•freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano and minced flat leaf parsley for topping

swirl olive oil in a hot skillet. 
add onions.
salt and pepper to taste and saute until wilted and golden brown.
add garlic and saute about 30 seconds longer.
place onions and garlic in soup pot that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.
swirl olive oil in the same skillet.
add celery.
salt and pepper to taste and saute until wilted and starting to caramelize.
place celery in soup pot.
swirl olive oil in the same skillet.
add carrots.
salt and pepper to taste and saute until starting to caramelize.
place carrots in soup pot.
add italian seasoning to soup pot.
brown and crumble italian sausage in the same skillet.
cook thoroughly.
spoon off and discard as much fat as possible, then drain on paper towels.
while sausage is draining, add v-8 juice and pasta sauce to the soup pot.
add kidney beans, great northern beans and petite diced tomatoes to the soup pot.
add the drained sausage.
stir in chicken broth, powdered parmesan cheese, and flat leaf parsley.
simmer on the very lowest heat possible for 2-3 hours.
stir often to avoid parmesan cheese sticking to the bottom and scorching.

to serve, place a helping of pasta in individual bowls, ladle piping hot soup over noodles and then top with parmigiano-reggiano and parsley.

{if you're lucky enough to have neighbors who make incredible rolls [thanks, peg!] and/or breadsticks [yay, amanda!] . . . yeah, go ahead and serve those, too}

No comments: