Minestrone with Pasta and Pesto
A variety of vegetables can be used in minestrone. If you like, add 1 cup chopped celery or the same amount of chopped cauliflower instead of the rutabaga and cabbage.
- 5 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 1 green cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes with juice
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 rutabaga, chopped
- 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
- 1 can (14 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup conchigliette, ditalini or other small pasta
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce, homemade (see related recipe at left) or purchased
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cook the vegetables
In a large pot over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, cabbage, tomatoes, carrot and rutabaga. Season with the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Raise the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Finish the soup
Stir in the chickpeas and zucchini and simmer, partially covered, for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and add the pasta. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and stir a tablespoonful of the pesto into each serving. Top with the cheese and serve. Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Pasta, by Julia della Croce (Oxmoor House, 2006).