Sam loves his pasta, but we have to watch our weight so to give him the comfort food he loves I've started cooking soup with pasta in it to keep him happy. Minestrone is his favorite and it only takes about half an hour to cook from start to finish.
To make it gluten free, I used gluten free penne but any pasta will work. To one litre of stock I use one cup of dried pasta. That will make about 4 serves or for hungry people like us around 3.
Ingredients in order of use
1 tablespoon of olive oil
¼ tsp powdered chilli
½ tsp paprika
Small onion diced
Small carrot diced
1 clove garlic chopped
125 gms minced beef (about a tennis ball sized lump.)
2 slices of ham cut into small squares.
1 can cannelline beans (or whatever you have on hand.)
¼ cup red wine (optional)
1 tin of chopped or crushed tomatoes
1 litre beef stock (I used 4 tsp of beef flavored Massel stock powder to 1 litre of boiling water)
2 bay leaves
1 desert spoon of raw sugar
Salt and pepper to taste,( usually about three or 4 shakes. )
Two sprigs of parsley finely chopped(I get this from my garden.)
1 cup pasta of choice. (Whatever you have on hand will be fine.)
Grated Parmesan to serve.
Hot buttered toast on the side.
How to put it together.
In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the olive oil. After half a minute add the spices and let that bloom in the oil. While that's happening chop your next 2 ingredients. Add the onion and carrot, sweat those off until the onion is turning translucent. Chop the garlic and ham while you wait.
Add the garlic to the pan and stir for half a minute before adding the mince. Stir the mince until you can’t see any pink. Then throw in the ham and beans and let that stir fry for a minute. Add the red wine (if you have it) and wait for it to reduce. When you can't smell the alcohol evaporating anymore, add the tin of chopped tomatoes. Let those bubble for a bit then pour in the stock. Add the remaining ingredients and bring it to the boil.
Let it boil until the pasta is cooked. The soup is now done and it can now be ladled into bowls and served topped with a Parmesan cheese and side of toast. Mr Sam likes to have a traditional glass of wine with his meal, I prefer some lemon juice and soda water.
The benefits of this soup is that it fills us up and stops the urge to snack all afternoon, now that we are home all the time. It also gives me something to do and I feel very much like an authentic Italian wife making this one.
Hope you are keeping well and finding lots to do at home. Besides cooking, I'm catching up on Spring cleaning, even though it's Autumn in Australia, and with the mild weather I'm out in the garden working on rejuvenating some areas and planting some Winter Veg, I'll share that in a future blog. I'm also writing and crafting so there'll be blogs about that also.
Stay safe and thanks for stopping by the blog.
Heart-melting, passionate romance.
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Doing the things that give me energy is essential to my creative process but there's an added bonus, that is huge.
After a lifetime of doing what my head said was right, I'm still learning to listen to the subtle messages from my heart. I've been feeling blocked in my writing and have been meditating on what thought patterns are behind it. While at the same time, I wanted to feel productive, so I turned to doing something that has worked for me in the past.
Working with my hands fires up my creativity. I started making this collage from scrap-booking paper and supplies. I made a good start but the final picture didn't come together in one afternoon. I had to let it sit with me and add extra bits and pieces over time. It was the 'Go Your Way' sign that gelled what my subconscious was trying to tell me.
In my meditations, a recurring theme kept cropping up around worthiness. If anyone had asked me if I felt worthy I'd have said yes, but with a quiet mind during meditation, some big doubts came forward from my subconscious. The solution would take time to emerge, I needed to process the difficult feelings, working on my collage helped me sit with them.
I had an idea that I wanted this collage to reflect my true self, as a way of valuing who I am. I began with adding elements that speak about my favorite things. Predominantly, I wanted something tangible to help me take ownership of what I like about being me. Something I could look at that would remind me of my passions at times of distraction or self doubt.
Roses are my favorite flower. These white roses came in a huge sheet which I fussy cut into odd sections. I love the shabby chic style, pale blue background paper with more subtle roses. The scrapbook script paper refers to my love of writing. This sparkly chandelier has been in my stash for ages and I finally had a reason to use it. There are no less than three chandeliers in our house, even the bathrooms have mini chandeliers, if I count them all that makes five.
The lace I used was also the inspiration for Sam's and my wedding, being traditional and elegant. I've always been enraptured with lace. I love the way the formality of the lace is contrasted with the scrappy paper and how that says so much about my eclectic tastes. I decorate with the odd luxury item and home made sitting side by side. The once gold frame was a cheap thrift store find that I painted white with chalk paint.
I arranged all the mix and match elements and hot glued them down. Next came the dark blue/grey paper butterflys. I always loved them for the promise that one day I'd grow wings. I really feel I'm there, my life is sorted. I've found a loving life partner and established a home for us. Regarding my writing, I have and self published two books and two short stories. These Butterflys now remind me to look for the light. That's what butterflys do, they look for rays of light to dance in.
The little sign, 'Go Your Own Way' summed up both what I needed to acknowledge, and what this work had been leading me to. Going my own way is the how I resolve being worthy. It doesn't matter if I'm good enough, or if I deserve success. I only need to live authentically to be getting it right,and that seems to make the question of being worthy or not irrelevant. Of course I'm worthy of being myself. It's embracing all that is me that makes me feel whole.
I'm very happy to say that I have started working on a new story. The characters are currently making themselves known to me. It exciting to be at the beginning of a new journey but I also have a finished book that needs significant rewrites. The heroine has been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, but I've been holding back from really exploring how deeply this affected her. I think I was afraid of upsetting myself or the reader. But I think every voice that adds to women being deserving of respect and a romantic hero that shows it is a good thing.
There's only one thing to do, and that is to go my own way with this. I need to stop holding back or pulling my punches. This story deserves to be told to the best of my ability and I'm going to do my best for it.
If you've ever felt not good enough or hopeless about achieving something, I totally understand how you feel. Its terrible in the way it cripples creativity. Mt advice is to make a start on something and do it just for yourself. Turn off your inner critic that says it's no good and focus on the fun you're having while you're doing it. Nothing ever has to be perfect, even nature is imperfect.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
You can find my published books at my Amazon page and you can follow me on Instagram, and my Facebook Page.
Heart-melting, passionate romance.
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, including rescuing a couple of old rose bushes and planting new ones.