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Sicilian Artichoke and Pasta Soup

1 tb Extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz Pancetta or meaty salt pork; diced
1 lg Onion; diced
2 Cloves garlic; sliced
1 Stalk celery with leaves on; sliced
2 tb Italian parsley; chopped
1 lb Baby artichokes or 10 oz frozen artichokes; trimmed, quartered
3/4 c Tomatoes;peeled,cored,and mashed, or canned is fine
1 ts Sea salt
1/2 ts Pepper
8 c Water
1/2 lb Short pasta
3/4 c Romano cheese (preferably Pecorino); freshly grated


Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta, onion, garlic, celery, and parsley,and saute for 6 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the artichokes and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and water, mix well, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Serve the soup hot showered with the cheese.


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