by Scott Ingenito
I was wrapping my Christmas presents last night and was missing my family back east, and I also happened to be hungry. Not shocking as I am pretty much always hungry, but this time I wanted, or more so, needed a nice warm comfort dish that would remind me of home. I looked around the kitchen and realized I had all the ingredients for one of my favorites, a dish that is full of love and goodness, Minestrone Soup,and of course I had to make roasted garlic bread to dip in the italian goodness that is minestrone. This meal filled me up, and made my house smell like home. Just like mom and dad did back in New York; There was roasted garlic in the air, and the pot of minestrone just simmering through the crisp Ocean Beach night winds off the ocean. It was nothing short of spectacular.
1 tbsp of grape seed oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 ribs of celery, washed and diced
2 cups of baby cut carrots, sliced into rounds
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 head of garlic, roasted & squeezed into a paste
2 tsp of each or more to taste: dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flake
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of pesto sauce
4 tbsp of tomato paste
5 cups of vegetable broth
2 16 oz cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 lb of quinoa pasta shells, (cooked ahead and set aside with a drop of olive oil)
1/2 cup of basil, chiffonade
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil. toss in your onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. saute until soft.
Add in your spices, olive oil, pesto and tomato paste. saute for another 2 minutes.
Add in your vegetable stock (can be subbed for chicken stock as well), Add in your beans and tomatoes, mix together and bring to a low boil. Then lower heat, cover and let simmer 30-60 minutes.
Add in your basil, stir. Top with shaved parmesan & Asiago cheese and serve.
Roasted Garlic Bread
3 heads of garlic
1-2 tbsp olive oil, high quality
1/4 cup of butter, room temp
pinch of each: oregano, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, pepper,
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
2 French whole grain baguette
Preheat oven to 400*, slice the bottom of your garlic heads off, place cut side up in a baking dish or pan. drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. (then squeeze out all the garlic and form a paste.
Mix together your butter, spices and the roasted garlic paste.
Slice bread in half, spread on your garlic herb butter, sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and toast in the oven 8-12 minutes or until you reach desired toasting.
Remove from the pan, slice into portions & serve