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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Walnuts and banana are a favorite raw snack of mine. Cooking them together takes it to sweet, nutty heaven. No wonder I've always loved the banana and walnut Pancake Parlour sweet stack. But I've missed it so much since having to eat a strict gluten free diet. It seemed the perfect thing to replicate for breakfast, when I needed something to sweeten my morning before tackling the paperwork that goes with Sam and I moving in together.
I went to the pantry and pulled out the ingredients that I hoped would do the trick. It has to be said that not all of my creations are a success, but I'm happy to say we were both surprised with how enjoyable the end result was. So nice, in fact, that I felt I really should share the recipe that I concocted, with you. Because you never know when only pancakes will do.
Pancake Parlour style GF Banana and Walnut Syrup Pancakes
1 cup gluten free plain flour (I used the Free From brand)
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
½ cup low fat milk
½ cup water
1 tablespoon melted margarine ( you can use butter if you prefer)
Extra margarine for greasing frying pan
Banana Walnut Syrup
1 ripe banana sliced
½ cup walnut peices
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup. (Add extra if needed )
Mix all the pancake ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until well combined. It should be a thick batter that doesn’t readily pour and needs to be spooned out. Set aside to rest.
Place two frying pans over medium heat, one larger one and a smaller one. In the smaller one combine all the ingredients for the syrup and bring to a simmer. Cook until the banana is cooked through and melting into the syrup.
In the larger one, grease with margarine and, using a large serving spoon, dollop one spoonful of pancake batter. Using the back of the spoon spread to 12cm (or 5”). Leave to cook for a minute or two. When golden underneath, lift the pancake with a serving slide. Re-grease the pan and flip to other side to cook through. Remove when other side is golden. The mix should make 4 pancakes. My frying pan only fit 2 pancakes so I needed to cook them in two batches but they kept hot on a plate.
Stack two pancakes on each plate. Pour the thick and bubbling syrup, direct from the frying pan, evenly over each stack.
If you have a go at making these, let me know how you get on or post a pic on my Facebook page. It would be great to hear what you think of them.
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.