Minestrone pasta bake

This recipe originates from one of my all-time favourite cooks - Donal Skehan's minestrone soup. One of the many times I made this soup I accidentally put too much pasta in and as a result I was left with no actual soup.....just pasta. After debating whether to throw it out or keep it I decided to keep it and make use of it so I just tweaked the recipe a small bit and gave it my best!

Ingredients


  • 1 courgette, chopped into small chunks
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 (410g each) tins cannellini beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 l (2 pints) homemade chicken stock
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 150 g (6oz) pasta shapes of your choice
  • a good pinch of paprika
  • a good pinch of sea salt
  • topping:
  • 150 g buffalo mozzarella, sliced
  • 150 g chorizo, sliced thin or thick (whichever you choose, i choose thin)
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Method

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil and fry the garlic cloves and onion for 2 minutes or until they become soft.
  2. Stir in the carrots, courgette and celery and cook for five minutes.
  3. Next add the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock, and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta, cannellini beans and paprika and give the soup a good stir then cover. Turn off the heat and let the pot be for about 25-30 minutes or until all/ most of the liquid is gone. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 180 degrees/ Gas mark 4.
  5. Next pour the contents of the pot into a large oven proof dish and cover with the mozzarella and chorizo then finally sprinkle over the chopped basil and pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling. Take out and serve straight away with a nice big chunk of fresh baguette......YUMMMM!

Notes:

If you want to make the soup and not the pasta bake then: leave out the topping, put in half of the pasta, add in another litre/ 2 pints of stock. Leave out the last step and don't turn off the heat once you have added the pasta and let it cook for 10 minutes or until cooked then serve!





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