Minestrone Milanese – Minestrone of Rice & Vegetables

Minestrone soup – Katrin Morenz CC BY-SA 2.0

Ingredients

1/3 lb. pork rinds (cotenne)
1 lb. fresh peas, podded
2 firm zucchini, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
8 oz. ripe tomatoes
6 tbs. lard
6 tbs. parsley
6 sage leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 large onion, sliced
3 oz. pancetta, cut into little strips
1 lb. shelled, fresh borlotti beans
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 lb. Savoy cabbage, sliced
4 tbs. Parmigiano
1/3 lb. rice, short or medium grain
salt

How to make the Minestrone alla Milanese of Rice and Vegetables:

Scrape the pork rinds with a knife to clean the surface and remove any bristle that might still be attached to it. Blanch the pork rinds and let cool. Cut into strips and set aside. Rinse and dice all the vegetables (zucchini, celery, and carrots). Peel, seed, and dice the tomatoes, then let cool. Finely chop the lard, parsley, sage, garlic, and onion. Saute the pancetta over medium heat and lard and herbs, stir until the lard melts and the onions get soft but not brown.
Combine all the vegetables, except for beans, potatoes, and cabbage, together with three qt. of hot water and a little salt. Cover the pot and let cook. When the water boils, add the beans and the pork rinds cut into strips. Cook over a low fire for l 1/2 hours, then add the potatoes, and the cabbage cut into julienne. When the beans are ready, add the rice. Continue to cook on a medium flame, frequently stirring. The minestrone, which should be thick by now, does not stick to the bottom of the pot. When the rice is done (approx. 12 min.), please remove it from the fire and mix it in the grated Parmigiano.
If minestrone gets too thick, add some broth. Let it rest for 15 min. and serve either hot or at room temperature.
Note 1:
If you are using dry beans, remember to soak them for a few hours.
Note 2:
You can replace rice with short pasta.

Serves 4

Regional recipe from Lombardy

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Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at enricomassetti@msn.com.