Minestrone with Pesto: Minestrone con Pesto

TOTAL TIME: 2 hr
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 1 hr 30 min
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

PESTO:
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, preferably "picolo fino"
  • 1 clove garlic
    MINESTRONE:
    • 1 1/2 cups borlotti (or pinto) beans
    • 1 1/2 cups cannelloni (or white) beans
    • 1 medium red onion, cut into medium dice
    • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch moons, 1/2-inch thick
    • 4 plum canned plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
    • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • 2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch moons
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 6 ounces small shells pasta
    • 1/2 cup pesto
    recipe tools

    Directions

    To make the pesto: In a large stone mortar, place the pine nuts, basil, garlic, and salt, and grind with a pestle until paste. Drizzle in the olive oil, beating with a wooden spoon. This can also be done in a food processor. Store in jars, topped with extra-virgin olive oil, for up to 1 week.
    To make the minestrone:
    Soak the borlotti and Cannelloni beans separately overnight and drain.

    In a large soup pot, place both kinds of beans, the onion, zucchini, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, leeks, and olive oil, and cover by 1-inch with cool water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the beans are tender about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Add the pasta, and turn the heat to high. Cook the pasta at a boil until al dente. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and top each bowl of minestrone with a dollop of pesto floating on top.
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