...and there'll probably be one more this weekend, too!
anyway, we made basil garlic minestrone tonight, based on this very confusing recipe.
i'm going to make some substantial suggestions/alterations below that should provide a smoother cooking experience (and more delicious eating experience, of course).
3 ounces pancetta, finely chopped (we used bacon; flavor a little too strong)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup diced italian tomatoes (we used the kind with basil, oregano, and garlic)
6 cups of cold water and chicken stock, mixed (we used about 2 cups stock and about 4 cups water)
1/2 tablespoon salt
about ten ounces (maybe a third of a box?) pasta; i'd go with tiny shells
pinch of pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons fresh basil, very finely chopped (might just go with 1 tbsp dried)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sauté the pancetta in olive oil and garlic until browned. then, CAREFULLY add tomatoes (if you're using plain tomatoes, a pinch of oregano here wouldn't hurt) and simmer for about 5 minutes; the wet tomatoes and bubbling oil can be a dangerous splattery mess, so stand back. after they're simmered, add the stock/water and bring to a boil. stir in salt and pasta; cook about 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. remove from heat, add pepper, red pepper, basil, and parmesan cheese (feel free to play with the amounts). serve hot.
AMAZING with a crusty bread like focaccia dipped in it.