I’ve been waiting for this since the first tomato turned ripe – enough to do the sauce thing for a delicious summer treat.Cook them down in a little olive oil over medium high heat, using a potato masher to help them along. Cook the pasta while the sauce is making, reserving some of the pasta water in case the sauce is too dry. Stir in a couple pats of butter and a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to finish the sauce. Add the spaghetti and fresh basil to the pan, toss with tongs, or flip it in the pan chef style if you’ve got the chops – this amount was a little too much for me. I did try and didn’t embarrass myself by spilling any but I will admit to a certain timidity. Garnish with more grated cheese and basil.
Not much to this one, I opened two cans of cannellini beans and a can of San Marzano tomatoes and dumped them into a pot in which I had browned some Italian sausages and sweated a diced onion in a little olive oil. I removed the sausages after they had cooked in the sauce for a while and sliced them, in the photo they have just been returned to the pot.
I was pretty sure there was an actual recipe for this dish. A search for white beans + tomatoes + sausage + recipe found several. I noted that this recipe called for sage as a seasoning so I added some rubbed sage. I already had bay leaves and some marjoram and dried basil and the garlic in mine.
They are predicting a quick hitting snow storm for tonight and tomorrow with some locations having blizzard-like conditions. Seemed like a good time to make a batch of soup.
Because I have a vita-mix, most of the soups I make start with a thick vegetable broth. It gives a great depth of flavor. It’s also chocked full of nutrients and anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t eat enough vegetables, so I do what I can to up my daily veggies. But you may not want to go to that trouble, so you can substitute 4 cups of chicken broth for the vegetable broth in the recipe below.
Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 2 stalks celery (with leaves), rough chopped
- 2 medium carrots, rough chopped (or frozen sliced)
- 1 cup cut green beans (I use frozen)
- 4 cups of water
- 2 skinless chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless, doesn’t matter it will be shredded)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
small saucepan, dutch oven or large saucepan, blender
Stock: In the blender, add rough chopped carrots, celery and green beans, spices, 2 cups of water and blend until smooth. Add to dutch oven or saucepan.
Add chicken breasts and 2 additional cups of water to the saucepan. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Add diced carrots, celery, salt and pepper to the liquid and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender crisp.
While the chicken is cooking, melt butter in the saucepan, add onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent. Whisk in flour and cook about 2 minutes or more. Turn the heat up to medium-high, slowly stir in milk and bring to a low boil, whisking until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
While the vegetables are cooking, shred the chicken. The easiest way to do this is to use two forks and pull across the grain of the meat in different directions. You can then use your fingers to break apart any large pieces.
Once the vegetables are tender crisp, whisk in the white sauce and then stir in the chicken. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve with parsley garnish.
Makes about 6 cups.
I went to the pantry and found a quart of last year’s tomato sauce for a pasta meat sauce. I made quite a bit, adding a big onion, several peppers from the patio garden, Italian sausage, lots of minced garlic, and plenty of fresh herbs. We had it on spaghetti for lunch, leaving plenty sauce for a supper dish. TaMara’s cast iron purchase made me do this in one of my skillets. This 10 incher is just big enough for 8 ounces of cooked rigatoni with sauce and some mozzarella we had leftover from yesterday’s pizza.I noticed that a couple of the recipes I looked at called for assembling the dish in individual sized casseroles but I don’t have anything suitable so I used the pan I had. I discovered why the mention of individual portions – you need a helper with scissors to cut the mozzarella strings when spooning the pasta into bowls!
I had the pork chops cooking before I had settled on a side dish. Mashed potatoes or rice would have usually been my choice but I spied some couscous in the back of the cabinet. The basic package directions would have worked just fine but I did a search just to see what was out there and saw this one that called for cherry tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan. I still have one cherry tomato bush in the back garden that is pretty well grown up with grass and weeds but it yielded enough for the recipe. I’ve let my basil go to seed but there are still plenty of young, tender leaves on it. It worked just fine as a side, although it was a shame to waste all that good gravy!Bonus critter shot! Katie and Homer taking time for a little shut eye. Homer stays out in the garage all night because he doesn’t get along with Toby. Mrs J lets Toby out in the morning and Homer comes in. He must spend all night awake because he sleeps pretty much all day long. Tired kitteh.