I think a routine has just been established. Once a month Patience and three of co-workers from WRH&S arrive at La Cuccina Renzulli for a mid-day repast. The first time they were here the ladies were smart enough to praise the meal and the cook with unabashed enthusiasm, and basking in their praise I would have said yes to twice weekly lunches. Fortunately their request was a modest monthly lunch date. As busy as I am, and I am a very busy man – busy, busy, busy – you would think this is a burden for me; it is not. I quickly realized that here was an opportunity to enjoy pasta and sausage in the middle of the day, a pleasure shared by my guests. I suppose I could serve something other than the food of the gods (at least my gods), and I probably will, but it won’t be easy.
Let my say that the fact that my wife’s coworkers are three lovely women has no bearing on any of this
For our first lunch we had the treat of all treats, Spaghetti with Sunday gravy made with sausage and Chicken. This month we enjoyed Tortellini soup with white beans and sausage.
1. Cheese filled Tortellini
2. Great Northern beans (Cannellini or other white beans can be used)
3. Italian sausage cut into bite size piece
4. Beef broth
5. Olive oil
7. Onion and garlic chopped
8. Celery and carrots chopped
9. Dry Basil and Oregano
10. Tomato paste- about 2 tablespoons
11. Salt and pepper
12. Red pepper flakes - optional
13. Grana Padana Cheese
Brown the sausage in oil, remove and set aside. In a large pot heat the olive oil and butter and add the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and red pepper flakes, and cook until soft., about 4-5 minutes. Add the sausage and the tomato paste and mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the beans, the broth, and the seasoning. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. (Mine simmered for almost 2 hours.)
Bring the soup to a boil and add the tortellini, cooking as directed on the package.
Serve with grated cheese and fresh Ciabatta bread from Kirchhoff's.
Life sometimes makes tough demands on us. Being the tiger that I am, I am willing to go that extra mile to meet those demands.