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Old 08-18-2008, 01:12 PM   #1
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Question Minestrone - To Pasta or Not To Pasta?

Even though it's hotter than hot here right now (in the mid-90's), with all the terrific veggies burgeoning in the gardens & farmers' markets, I have a hankering to put together a large pot of Minestrone one day this week to enjoy for dinner, lunches, etc., etc.

While I like to add some small pasta to it (tiny shells, ditalini, etc.), was wondering how many of you cook it in the whole large pot of soup, & how many make the pasta separately & then add it per serving. Since the two of us obviously won't be eating the whole pot of soup at one sitting, some of it will end up in the fridge (& perhaps some even in the freezer). Obviously I could live without the extra step, but on the other hand I also wouldn't want the pasta to disintegrate into mush upon reheating.

Last time I made it I didn't add pasta, & for the life of me I now can't remember which way I did it the last time I did use pasta.

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Old 08-18-2008, 01:19 PM   #2
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I normally use very little pasta in my Minestrone so it's not like you get a bite with every spoonful. I do like tubettini or acini de pepe and I add it towards the end. It seems to do ok for a few days in the fridge. For larger pasta I tend to make it separately though. If you use more pasta than I do I might be tempted to make it separately, cool under cold water, and then add it. That might help it not cook more when reheated - maybe?
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:29 PM   #3
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Everytime I added pasta to a soup and reheated it, the pasta swelled up so big it was more like pasta with some soup in there.

I'd make it seperate. Cooked pasta stores pretty good.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:33 PM   #4
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it never ends up well when you add the pasta to the whole pot. at least for me anyway. well worth the extra step.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:13 PM   #5
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I never add pasta or rice to a soup until I'm ready to serve it for the reasons everyone mentioned. The pasta soaks up the broth. I make the pasta, then refrigerate it. When I heat the soup I just drop the amount of cooked pasta I want into the soup after it's completely heated and serve it right then. The hot soup heats the pasta so there is no need to cook it further. Works like a charm.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:54 PM   #6
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I put about a cup of tiny pasta into about 3 quarts of soup, so it really doesn't take up much broth. Works for me
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:02 PM   #7
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For many other soups I would cook pasta separatly, but Minestrone good till the last drop with pasta cooked in the soup.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:09 PM   #8
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i'd just add my pasta, your soup may be cloudy, though.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:26 PM   #9
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Since you want to hold it for future use, warming it up each time, I'd add the pasta, already cooked seperately, to each subsequent warming. This way, the past won't continue to cook and cook and cook and cook... The first time you try to warm it up with the pasta already in it, it will blow apart all over the beautiful soup.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:52 PM   #10
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antsi di peppe(sp)is the classic and traditional past to add. Even when fully bloated, it is no larger then Israeli couscous.

IMO, minestrone with out pasta, is like chicken with out the noodle...
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TATTRAT View Post
antsi di peppe(sp)is the classic and traditional past to add. Even when fully bloated, it is no larger then Israeli couscous.

IMO, minestrone with out pasta, is like chicken with out the noodle...
This is the spelling:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
I do like tubettini or acini de pepe and I add it towards the end. It seems to do ok for a few days in the fridge.
Yep, it is not offensive when it swells.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:14 PM   #12
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Since you have mixed feelings about hot soup, why not take some of your garden's bounty and make a nice icy cold gazpacho? Maybe even add some tiny shrimp? Yummy, and so refreshing on a hot evening.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:02 AM   #13
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I adore Gazpacho (in fact, I've yet to come across a soup that I don't like), but my husband doesn't like it. In fact, he doesn't care for cold soups, period. So while I do occasionally whip up some Gazpacho for myself, I don't make cold soups for both of us.

And really, even though served hot, Minestrone has to be the king of fresh vegetable soups, & what better time to make it then when local veggies are truly fresh?

I have some absolutely gorgeous fresh "Bright Lights" Swiss chard, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, green beans, yellow wax beans, a can of Cannellini beans, a nice hard "heel" of good Parmesan cheese, & some tiny little shell pasta all raring to go - along with quarts of delicious homemade chicken stock.

Depending on when he gets home & how hungry he is, hubby will have a choice of accompaniments: sandwich on a crusty roll, crusty bread, &/or a green salad.

Since I'll be home all day today & can make the soup ahead of time, definitely an easy-peasy dinnner for a hot day. (And of course, with central air conditioning, it's only "hot" when one steps out the door. . . .)
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:06 AM   #14
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pasta yes, small pasta even more yes, and the when is the real question. If I'm making enough soup for a second meal or more, I do the pasta in broth separately and add it to the bowl first and ladle the soup on top (same thing I'd do with rice in a gumbo). But if I'm making just enough for the table tonight with maybe a cup for lunch tomorrow, I do it all together.
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:35 PM   #15
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Breezy, my husband doesn't like gazpacho, either...he somehow cannot get past the idea that soup should be hot. What is wrong with these guys????
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:00 PM   #16
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I don't know. I mean, he drinks cold juices & such - I don't see the difference except that cold soups are more flavorful.

I also like well-made Cold Cucumber Soup, which, of course, he doesn't. But since he'll readily eat Indian "raita", which is essentially just cold yogurt laced with cucumber & some spices, again I don't see the difference.

But - no big deal. I just enjoy them in restaurants or make them for myself when I'm in the mood.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren View Post
Breezy, my husband doesn't like gazpacho, either...he somehow cannot get past the idea that soup should be hot. What is wrong with these guys????

Just tell him it's an extra thick bloody mary.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:16 PM   #18
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Make my Minestrone with Pasta

I agree with kitchenelf: Use the tiny pasta acini de pepe. And cook al dente before adding. I always pre cook my pasta.

I do not like the larger pasta for soup. I always make a large pot. Pasta
reheated is not our taste. The tiny pasta works.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the ideas, advice, & opinions guys. I did end up making the pasta (tiny shells) separate. Just cooked them up first, drained, & saved them for later. Then put a big spoonfull in each serving bowl & ladled the hot soup over them. Worked great!
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Thanks for all the ideas, advice, & opinions guys. I did end up making the pasta (tiny shells) separate. Just cooked them up first, drained, & saved them for later. Then put a big spoonfull in each serving bowl & ladled the hot soup over them. Worked great!
Perfect. You did good.
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