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Istrian Minestra recipe

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Istrian
Minestrone

( Istarska minestra)

"This dish shows the enormous influence of neighboring Italy on Croatian cuisine.

Serves 8 to 10

1/2 pound romano beans, soaked overnight
1 1/4 pounds smoked pork spareribs
1 cup diced soup vegetables (carrots, parsnips, celery, etc.)
1/2 pound sweet corn kernels
1 bay leaf
1 cup small pasta shells
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 large onion, minced
1/2 cup canned peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot add the beans with the pork cover with water and cook over medium-heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and drain the water. Add fresh water to cover the diced soup vegetables, corn and bay leaf and simmer for at least 2 hours.

When the soup is near the end of the simmering time cook the pasta separately. Heat the oil in a separate skillet over medium-heat and brown the onion. Add tomatoes, stir briefly and add to the soup along with the cooked pasta. Stir in the vinegar before serving. Add salt and pepper. You may also remove the meat, cut it into smaller pieces and return to the soup.

· Use any type leftover cooked pasta in this dish.

· Reduce the oil called for by using a nonstick skillet to brown the onions."

From The Best of Croatian Cooking by Liliana Pavicic and Gordana Pinker-Mosher.
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