Minestra Di Scarola Con Pastina or Escarole and Tiny Pasta Soup

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Here is a soup I absolutely love. I got the recipe from Evan Kleinman when I took a class from her. Nutritionally, it's one stop shopping, but it also tastes wonderful.

½ c. Olive Oil
2 onions, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, stem ends removed and roughly chopped
2-3 heads escarole, trimmed, washed and cut into thick strips
Chicken Broth
1 handful coarsely chopped Italian Parsley (optional)
1 bunch fresh basil (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper (My favorite comedian, Patton Oswalt had a bit about, how can you really tell if the pepper isn't freshly ground? True, right?)
1-2 cups shredded boiled chicken
½ c. pastina (riso, anciini de pepe, stelle)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften and turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook until it  gives off it's characteristic aroma. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium-high heat until they begin to break down and become saucy. Add the escarole and stir in the pan a few times to coat it with the olive oil. Add enough chicken broth to cover and parsley and basil if desired (I never use these herbs). Bring to a healthy simmer and cook until the escarole is tender and the broth has a light, healthy taste. Add the boiled chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, bring the soup to a rolling boil and add the pastina.  Cook just until the pastina is tender. Serve immediately.


Laraine Newman 


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