3-ounces lean pancetta (Italian bacon) or 3 ounces lean proscuitto (Italian ham)
1 onion, chopped fine
2 ribs finely chopped celery
3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 28-oz can Italian Style chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 anchovy filets, chopped into a paste
2 15-5 ounce cans cannelloni beans drained and rinsed
3 ½ cups chicken broth or 3 ½ cups water mixed with 1 tablespoon chicken soup base
2 cups water
½ cup dry white wine
8 ounces small pasta shapes, orzo, tubetini (tinny pasta tubes or tiny pasta sea shells cooked according to package directions removing from heat 2 to 3 minutes early. Rinse pasta drain and set aside until ready to add to soup
½ chopped fresh spinach
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper and ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt to taste
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago Cheese
1. Spray a 4 to 6 quart sauce pan or Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat over medium high for 2 to 3 minutes. When pan is hot add ham or pancetta and sauté until lightly browned. 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, celery and continue to sauté until vegetables are tender about 5 minutes. Add garlic oregano, thyme and anchovies and continue to stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes with their liquid scrapping any browed bits from of the bottom of the pan. Then add chicken stock, wine, water, beans and pasta to pan and bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until pasta is al dente. Undercooking pasta first keeps it from becoming over cooked or absorbing to much liquid from the soup.
3. Remove soup from heat and stir in olive oil, chopped spinach, salt and pepper to taste. To serve ladle soup into individual bowls and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese
Yield: 10 1-½ cup servings each at approximately 209 calories; 5.9 grams total fat; 1.8 gram saturated fat; 10 milligrams cholesterol; 44 grams carbohydrate; 8.1 grams dietary fiber; 16 grams protein; 551 milligrams sodium.
Compare to traditional at 412 calories and 16 grams total fat.
Recipe from the cookbook Lighten Up – The Art of Low Fat Gourmet Cooking, by Mary E. Ross