Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
A rich, stick-to-your-ribs Italian stew that takes advantage of the wonderful flavor of Parmigiano-Regianno drawn from left-over cheese rinds. Minestrone-like but much more. Freeze your cheese rinds, instead of tossing, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, so you can make this delicious stew.
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 pieces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, rinds (about 2 oz.each)
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3⁄4 lb small white button mushrooms, stemmed and caps quartered
- 1 lb small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lbs tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 ounces capellini, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
- In a large saucepan, combine the broth and Parmigiano-Regianno rinds and bring to a boil. Simmer over modately low heat until the rinds are very soft and the broth is reduced to 4 cups, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large stew pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil along with the zucchini, peppers, and leek and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until slightly broken down, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and the cheese rinds and bring to a boil. SImmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
- In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Add the broken pasta and cook over high heat, stirring, constantly, until lightly browned,m about 2 minutes. Stir the pasta into the stew and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Discard the cheese rinds and stir in the basil. Serve the vegetable stew in deep bowls, passing crusty, toasted, peasant-style bread at the table.