Veggie Pasta and Minestrone Soup
Pasta La Vista
I learned the original recipe for this from a vegetarian cookbook I had in my vegetarian days; I've since edited it a lot, to suit my needs. The great thing about this recipe is that you can change out almost every ingredient for something you already have on hand, and it's super easy because you only need one pan.
1 large can diced tomatoes (I like the kind with green chilies)
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (just about anything works great -- I use whatever mix is on sale that week)
1 bag of pasta (macaroni and penne or ziti type noodles work best)
Approximately 1 cup shredded cheese
A dash of hot sauce
In a tall-sided skillet, mix the tomatoes, vegetables, and pasta with just enough water to cover the pasta. While the pasta and veggies are cooking, add spices -- oregano, salt, pepper, garlic or garlic powder, whatever you have handy. Once the pasta's almost done, lower the heat to a simmer and stir in a dash of hot sauce or your favorite salsa, then sprinkle enough grated cheese over the top to cover it. Turn off the heat, let the cheese melt down on it, and you're done!
Another recipe I picked up during my vegetarian years, this one's really easy and can feed an ARMY. Whenever I make it I always end up with enough leftovers for 2-3 days of work lunch, and it's 100x better reheated anyway.
You will need:
1 large can whole stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1-2 vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 bag of pasta (macaroni or small shells are the best)
1 bag of frozen vegetables (whatever's on sale -- I like the frozen "stew" vegetables with the whole baby onions)
1 can of beans or chickpeas
In a big soup pot, make the bouillon according to the package instructions (generally 1 cube to 1 cup water). Add the tomato sauce and tomatoes, cooking on medium heat until it begins to boil; mash up the whole tomatoes, then pour in the vegetables. Season to taste with oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper, and 1-2 whole bay leaves. Once vegetables start to cook, add the pasta and beans. Cook until the pasta's done.
Note: You may end up having to adjust the liquid, adding some water or more bouillon in order to get it "soupy" enough for your taste.
Submitted by Tiana Bodine
Tiana, these recipes both sound delicious, thanks for sharing them with us! :o) - Michelle