Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe: Midwinter Minestrone from Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
1/4 pound sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4 -inch dice (optional)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
3 celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1 large or 2 medium red onions, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 ounce dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 small bunch of purple or green kale, washed and dried
1 cup semolina or whole-wheat ditalini or other short cut pasta
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated or shredded, to pass at the table
Place a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the pancetta to the pot (if using) and cook until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, and onions to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are tender, 7 to 8 minutes more.
Add the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, stock, and 2 cups water to the pot, and bring up to a boil.
Hold the kale by the stems and curl up your opposite hand around the greens at the base of the stem. With a quick jerking motion strip the greens off and away from the stems and chop the greens.
Add the kale, pasta, and chickpeas to the soup pot, and cook until the pasta is al dente. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves.
Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, top with the Pecorino Romano, and serve.
From Publishers Weekly
Just when you thought Rachael Ray couldn't make preparing dinner any easier, she offers a book of 100 simple main courses, all illustrated with step-by-step photos. Cooks who aren't quite sure what dishes are supposed to look like along the way will gain confidence from the six images that accompany each entry, highlighting ingredients, techniques, and in-progress recipes. As You Like It citrus soy stir-fry calls for shelled edamame and a seeded and thinly sliced bell pepper; photos show just how these should appear when they're ready to go into the skillet. One photo supporting the individual Florentine frying-pan pizza depicts dough pressed into a skillet and being filled before baking--so there's no question about whether the reader is doing it correctly. All recipes include a photo of the finished product, too. Chapters are quintessential Ray: "Cozy Food" (cherry tomato and ravioli soup with store-bought ravioli; shepherd's pie stuffed potatoes), "Make Your Own Takeout" (Real-Deal rellenos), "Fancy Fake-Outs" (Moroccan Lemon-Olive Chicken), " ÿYes, The Kids Will Eat It' " (chicken & broccolini with orange sauce), and, of course, "30-Minute Meals." Ray fans should find more of what they love in this book: easy meals that will please most crowds. (Nov.) (c)
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