Well it seems like winter has finally made an appearance here. Unfortunately it was in the way of a yucky storm of wind, snow, and freezing rain. Thankfully it didn’t get too bad until late in the evening and the temperatures went up the next day so things started to melt quickly. I do NOT want another ice storm like we had a couple of years ago. It was quite an experience but I’d like it to remain a memory.
With the first storm came the first shovelling event. Shovelling snow isn’t the worst thing in the world (I wouldn’t call it fun but I accept it as part of winter life in Canada). However, shovelling wet snow and ice is back-breaking work. Yuck. Maybe one day we’ll invest in a snow thrower (it’s what we call it in Canada), but it just doesn’t seem logical given the small size of our driveway. Perhaps we should throw logic out the window!
Thankfully (for me) Nelson got the job done while the kids and I were all safe and warm inside, getting ready to go out. This job left Nelson craving a hot, winter-perfect meal, so he settled into the kitchen (his happy place) and got started on this hearty soup of pasta e fagioli (aka beans). This is a traditional Italian soup but Nelson’s twist on it was to use bacon instead of pancetta. This added a bit of a smokey flavour to the soup, which he loves…and…it’s bacon! Ahhh… This really hit the spot!
Hey, we accept that shovelling is a part of our life here…but we don’t have to love it. However, if this is a reward each time, then bring on the snow, baby!!
It’s winter-time in Canada…wherever you are, stay safe out there…and as always, eat well friends!
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 8 oz (roughly 250 g) thick bacon chopped
- ½ cooking onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 small to medium carrots chopped
- 1 cup good white wine
- 2 cans (18.2 fl oz or 540 ml each) cannelloni beans (washed out)
- 3⅕ cups diced tomatoes
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1¼ chifferini lisci (small elbow pasta)
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ freshly ground black pepper
- 6 oz (170 g) baby spinach leaves.
- grated parmesan cheese to top the soup
- Heat the oil on high.
- Add the chopped bacon and stir.
- Continue to stir the bacon until it starts to brown. About 4 to 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium high and add the diced onion, chopped carrots and minced garlic.
- Add the salt and black pepper.
- Continue to stir until the onions look translucent. About 4 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir.
- Let the wine reduce to about a quarter. About 5 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, beans and broth. Stir.
- Let the liquid get to a boil.
- Add the pasta and reduce the heat to medium. About 4 to 5 minutes.
- Let simmer until the pasta is al dente.
- Shut off the stove, add the spinach and cover. The spinach will wilt with the left-over heat.
- Leave for about 5 minutes.
- Uncover, stir well and serve with a generous portion of freshly grated pamesean on each plate.
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