A Food Odyssey 3

This was the prayer of Athena–
granted in every particular by herself.
She passed the beautiful wine cup to Telemakhos,
who tipped the wine and prayed as she had done.
Meanwhile the spits were taken off the fire,
portions of crisp meat for all. — from The Odyssey, Book 3, lines 67 to 72


Minestra di verdura

extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 summer squash, diced
1 cup fresh corn, about two to three ears’ worth
1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cored, diced tomato
handful of dried pasta (I used shells but you can also use farfalle or orzo)
1/2 cup chopped herbs, more for garnish
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Put 3 tablespoons oil in a large, deep saucepan or casserole over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, carrot and squash. Cook, stirring, until onion softens and vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5-8 minutes.

2. Add corn and beans; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two, then add 4 cups water and tomato. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring every now and then, until vegetables are fairly soft and tomato breaks up, about 10 minutes.

3. Add herbs and adjust heat once again so mixture simmers. Cook until all vegetables are very tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Meanwhile cook pasta separately until al dente, drain. Add to minestrone. Taste and adjust seasoning, drizzle with olive oil, and serve immediately, passing herbs and cheese at table.

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