Monday, June 08, 2009

My idea of a minestrone

My idea of a minestrone with anchovy fillet and basil pesto

The university campus where I did my undergraduate had a great little pizza cafe at the edge of its campus, near the student union area. It's called the Pizza Cafe and as the name suggests, they make and sell pizza, fantastic wood fire oven pizzas with generous toppings from A-Z inspired by movie titles. What was perhaps not so well advertised was their amazing minestrone, which in my own personal experience was totally and completely out of this world.

The minestrone came in a warm (ginormous) bowl, filled to the brim with warm aromatic minestrone soup topped with parmesan cheese and red oil droplets gathering on the edge of the bowl. On the side, you'd find a rustic and almost shapeless bread stick, warm and freshly brought out of the same wood fire oven where they baked their pizza, full of life and powdered with flour. It was great as a summer dinner but the romantic cold air of winter intensifies the sensation of every spoonful that greeted my taste buds.

I'm going back to attend my sister's graduation this semester and I'll be sure to order a bucketfull of their minestrone, but for now, I gathered a few ingredients here and there, and proceeded to make my own.

To make My idea of a Minestrone, you'll need
  • 2 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 shallots
  • bacon bone
  • 4 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • a can of mixed beans
  • a can of tomatoes
  • basil and pine nut pesto
  • parmesan cheese
  • anchovies
Alright, first of all, breathe in deeply because you're about to embark on an amazing adventure. Put on that apron and grab a sharp knife and slice the shallots. Get the saucepan fired up with a healthy splash of olive oil. Once hot, add in the shallots and after they've softened, add in the garlic and the diced bacon. Stir them around until fragrant, add in the diced carrot and zucchini and sweat them around for a little bit before you add in the bacon bone, water and simmer away for roughly half an hour. Add the mixed beans and tomatoes and let sit for another 15 minutes or so. Serve in a bowl, topped with shaved parmesan cheese, anchovies, a teaspoon of basil pesto and freshly cracked pepper.

Feel free to add or substitute any vegetable or leave out the bacon and bacon bones with chicken. I think minestrone is one of the world's greatest soup because of its adjustability and of the rich flavours.


Yoco said...

Seriously, the pizzas @the Pizza Cafe are the best!! I'd say if they open a restaurant on Lygon St in Melb, all other shops would panic!!!
Miss Brissy, miss Aust, miss u girls!!

Ernie Yulyaningsih said...

Hahaha! That's right girlfriend, Lygon street bring it!

Do you have any leave soon? Come and visit!!! Gina wants to come back to Australia in December or so.