It’s true; I admit it. I got the recipe off the back of a can. The ingredients section on a can of Heinz Minestrone. Maybe not the best place to start, but in the middle of an inadequately stocked supermarket, it was the only place. I had a minor idea of what was needed for minestrone soup and a small amount of fabulous roast pork shoulder left from a meal on Friday night, so there wasn’t the need to complicate things with a fancy recipe.
The smug frugality I felt, chopping up ageing carrots and onions, was sheer satisfaction. It’s that feeling you get when you clear out your cupboards, clean a room and throw things out. There’s a happy new epoch just around the corner and it’s time to use everything up and chuck the rest out.
In lieu of a photo (I’ve eaten my photograph), a description is required: a rich-smelling, orange-coloured cocktail with texture in every spoonful. Peas smash softly on your tongue, pasta gives a little bite and every piece of veg has shape. The many experiences become the one.
Minestrone, Sakina Style.
Boil the kettle.
Circumcise as many fresh tomatoes as you have lying around and pour boiling water on them so their skins drop off. (12 in my case, and they were super vines my mum gave me, but use tinned if that’s what there is).
Boil the kettle again. Make stock with the proceeds.
Boil the kettle again and pour over a couple of handfuls of frozen broad beans. (This because in the supermarket I thought I already had a can-a-canellini). Boil for a minute past boiling point and drain.
Chop up leeks, onion, garlic, carrot, celery and potato and fry in EVOO until softish.
Scop a couple of heaped teaspoons of paprika over the edge of the cauldron and a few teaspoons of tomato puree.
Roughly chop the tomatoes if you’re not using tinned and throw them in the pot. Who lives long enough to shove tomatoes through a sieve?
Pour the stock on top and give it a twirl.
Skin the broad beans *sigh*. Better still, use a can-a-canellini. Don’t put them in yet.
Slice up any beautiful, tender roast pork you might happen to have in the fridge. In it goes.
Break up spaghetti/linguine/any long pasta and watch them sink beneath the surface. Stir it some more, season bravely (I used Maldon, black pepper and oregano) and leave it to simmer for 20-30 minutes, lid on.
Close to the end of cooking, add the broad beans and a few handfuls of peas.
Serve with grana padano grated onto the surface.