Friday, November 22, 2013

3 Italian Soups

I'm baaaaack!! I had a great trip home visiting family, eating cheddar cheese (and all those other things on my list) and now I'm happy to be back in Cortina just in time for the holidays! More on that next week.

Making soup is one of my favorite things to do in the fall - and anytime of year, actually - so this year I decided to master three real Italian soups. Here's what I came up with:

1. Pasta e Fagioli

When I was in Bologna, I spent half the time wandering around the markets there - everything looked so delicious and exotic, even though Bologna is only three hours away from Cortina! I bought a bag of borlotti beans because they were pink and white, and because I've never cooked with them before.


I decided on pasta e fagoli because I realized the beans were quite big and I thought they'd be better in a soup rather than sliding around on our plates. But actually, if you're making pasta e fagioli, I would recommend not to use borlotti beans. It turns out that when they're cooked, they lose their beautiful pink and white coloring and turn an off-putting shade of gray! I actually made this soup twice because I had so many beans - the second time, I mashed them up so that we didn't notice that there were huge gray beans in our soup, and that was much better. Here's the very rough recipe that I made up as I went along:

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup beans - barlotti if you're going to mash them up, cannelli if you're not
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth - more as needed
1/2 small pasta shape - I used ditalini rigati
1 tbsp rosemary, fresh or dried
Parmesan cheese for serving

Directions:

Heat olive over medium heat in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion has softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the beans and cook one more minute. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to the time indicated on the box. Stir in rosemary and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan on top.



2. Ribollita

While I've made pasta e fagioli many times before, Riboletta was a new one for me. I used this recipe from the New York Times that my aunt sent me and it was fantastic. So hearty and filling that even Ryan agreed for ONCE that a bowl of soup was a meal. Finally!


3. Tortellini in Brodo

This is a favorite of ours and is possibly the easiest soup in the world to make:

Boil 2 cups (or however much broth you want) of chicken broth, throw in some tortellini and cook it according to the package - usually about 3 minutes - chop up some parsley, grate some Parmesan, sprinkle both on top and it's done!



Happy cooking!