If you’re anything like me, you are really beginning to feel overwhelmed with the thought that Christmas is only 1 week away! You are asking yourself…why did I sign myself up for so many activities and responsibilities this week?? Note to self for next year…say no to every invitation the week before Christmas!
So in case you are like me, you will probably appreciate an easy and affordable meal that is delicious and quick. The best part is you probably have most of the ingredients on hand so no need for another trip to the grocery store. Serve this with crusty french bread & a spicy Malbec, and you have a nice meal to calm your nerves during this hectic week.
This recipe is a variation of Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe…primarily, I added heirloom tomatoes I had canned this summer and increased the amount of bacon…because really, shouldn’t we all eat more bacon? I think so!!!
Price Note: This recipe serves 4-6 and if using homemade stock and canned tomatoes, the price per serving is less than $1 a person.
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
6-8 ozs bacon, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1 pint canned tomatoes or 1 can (14.5 ozs) diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
2 cans (14.5 ozs) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained well
1 cup small to medium sized macaroni shells
fresh ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil & butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped bacon and saute until pieces begin to crisp up, approximately 7 minutes. (Don’t fret if all the pieces don’t crisp up…only about 1/2 of mine were crisp by the end). Stir in the garlic and saute 1 more minute. Add the chopped rosemary, bay leaf, stock, tomatoes, beans, a dash of salt, and approximately 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a blender or food processor, puree 1 1/2 cup of the soup mixture until smooth, then return the puree to the dutch oven. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add in pasta then reduce heat to medium high. Stir occasionally and allow to boil for approximately 8 minutes, until pasta is tender but still firm to bit.
Season with fresh ground pepper and remove the bay leaf. I doubt you’ll need more salt since this has bacon.
Ladle up & Enjoy!
And good luck this week with your hectic schedule. I hope you make time for refreshing moments with deep breaths.