Cooking with Love

with Gianna Conte (Jan)

Cooking with Love

with Gianna Conte (Jan)

Anna with her fiance Vincenzo in 1947

Mom Macina's birthday is October 10th

My mom met my dad after the war. My grandma loved my father because he treated her like a mother since his mom died when he was 8 years old. My mom thought dad was too skinny, so she started to fatten him up with her cooking.

My mom was a great cook since she was a young teenager. She did not learn to cook from her mother, but she worked at summer camps and learned how to prepare foods there. Her brothers loved the way she cooked and were always glad when she cooked for them.

When my parents married, my dad brought her to live in his family's house in Palese, a town that was miles away from her family. Her father in law lived with them, so you can imagine how she tolerated an old widower who was set in his ways. My older sister was born and months later grandpa passed away. Mom gave birth to another girl who died at 14 months old from Whooping Cough. My mom was devastated and was already pregnant with me.

Three years later, my baby sister was born.

My dad always wanted to move to Australia but my mom persuaded him to write to his brother in America. After 2 years, we finally got clearance to emigrate to the USA.

She loved her hats.....miss you mama

October 2022

I welcome Fall with great enthusiasm. We've had a very hot summer. The temps are cooler but not cold. Georgia is beautiful. Our nights are cool while our days are warm. A perfect recipe for an enjoyable life.

I do enjoy cooking and baking even when the weather is hot. However, there's nothing like a big pot of soup on the stove simmering away.

Minestrone soup

The heartiness of minestrone soup calls for good bread. But before the bread, let's make the soup.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped pancetta (optional)

1 regular onion, chopped

2 TBS olive oil

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced 

2 TBS tomato paste (to thicken the liquids)

1 - 15 oz can of cannellini beans, or any other kind of bean

2 - 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes with the liquids

Salt and pepper to taste

2 bay leaves

2 cups green beans (frozen, preferably)

2 cups cold water

1 potato, chopped

2 cups baby spinach or kale or escarole (my preference)

4 cups any kind broth (chicken or vegetable)

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes 

Grated parmesan cheese 

*1 cup cooked small pasta (baby shells, ditalini or chopped spaghetti)

*Note: I add the cooked pasta just before serving because the pasta gets soggy.

Directions:

In large Dutch oven, warm the olive oil, and add the pancetta and let render before adding the onions, celery and carrots.

Add garlic before adding the tomatoes with liquid. Add salt and pepper and tomato paste. Add water and broth. Stirring all ingredients.

Add baby spinach or kale. 

Let soup cook for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

 

Let's warm up with this delicious soup