I don’t know about you, but I am a firm believer that carbon-dating is best left in the hands of smart anthropologists and geologists: it doesn’t belong in my freezer. That said, I had a few food sundries of questionable age hiding in deep storage – and thought of this fabulous recipe to help clean things out. It is so versatile that you can easily vary the veggies and pasta, depending on what you have on-hand.
I happened to have enough mixed vegetables to feed an army, as a result of a request to my spouse to bring some home from Sam’s. I should have been thinking: Sam’s is not exactly the source for smaller quantities. A big time saver in this recipe is the jar of marinara: it adds a ton of flavor in one easy step.
The more traditional version of this recipe calls for cannellini beans or Great Northerns to add creaminess to the soup. I didn’t have any, so used 1/2 a bag of leftover frozen lima beans – which turned out to be a flavorful and better addition that didn’t fall apart under high pressure. (Don’t tell your Italian grandmother!)
Are you ready to reclaim your space with this surprisingly delicious and lightning-fast recipe? Here you go:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Cup diced onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp oregano
1-2 turns of cracked black pepper
4 C mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn), rinsed if frozen, drained if canned
1 1/2 C lima beans, rinsed if frozen, drained if canned
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 jar of marinara sauce
1 32 oz container vegetable broth
32 oz water (or a second container of broth)
4 oz ditalini pasta (1/4 box)
2 C broccoli heads cut into bite-sized pieces (rinsed if frozen)
Fresh parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
- Set instant pot to SAUTE. heat the oil. Cook onions until translucent. Add garlic, oregano and black pepper. Saute until the garlic starts to turn brown.
- Add mixed vegetables and lima beans to the pot. Mix well.
- Add tomatoes, marinara, vegetable broth and water. Stir.
- Add ditalini pasta, stir.
- Set instant pot to HIGH PRESSURE (hp) for 10 minutes and cover with lid.
- When cycle is complete, allow pot to sit for 2 minutes. QUICK RELEASE the steam.
- Carefully remove the lid, and stir in the broccoli.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley (optional).
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