Would you like some soup with your shells (and cheese)? Yes. We had such a great weekend. On Friday afternoon, we finished work around four (all U.S. ornament kits that were ordered before 10/29 are out now — woohoo! — overseas orders going out all this week), then we headed out to shop for a smaller downstairs bathroom sink. Found a cute one. Went to Thien Hong for salt-and-pepper squid. Stopped at Stumptown for a 7 p.m. latte because I couldn't stop yawning. Headed downtown to see Sufjan Stevens at the Schnitz. Had mind blown by show, cried at the end (couldn't help it). Went home, couldn't sleep, and stayed up until 3 a.m. finishing the saddest book, given to me last month by my friend Ken who returns to Portland today. Slept until 10 a.m. Saturday morning (latest sleep-in I can ever remember). Woke up and had lunch at Pioneer Place with Andy. Went shopping and generally banged around town doing nothing with Andy for first time in AGES (most excellent). Was made extremely delicious soup with garlic bread by Andy for Saturday-night dinner. Watched Shannen Doherty pumpkin movie (that's what we call it, and you know I love Brenda, Hallmark Channel, and giant pumpkins — almost forgot about my dream I had that one time — how weird that the dream had a bathroom in it, as I am now obsessed not with pumpkins but with bathrooms). Upstairs bathroom completely finished and we love it (pictures soon), downstairs is now gutted. It was a great weekend. Hope yours was, too!
Italian Sausage Soup
from Noteworthy: A Collection of Recipes from the Ravinia Festival
1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage (hot or mild), cut in 1/2" slices
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
28 oz. canned Italian-style tomatoes with liquid
42 oz. beef broth
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 medium zucchini, cut in 1/4" slices
1 medium green pepper, seeded, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups shell noodles
Grated parmesan cheese
In large kettle, saute sausage until lightly browned. Drain and dicard fat. Add onions and garlic. Saute until onions are limp. Stir in tomatoes, breaking them up. Add broth, wine, and basil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add zucchini, green pepper, and parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes more. If you intend to serve and finish all of the soup in one sitting, add the 2 cups of shell noodles during that last fifteen minutes and cook until they are al dente. If we will have leftovers and want to reheat soup the next day, we cook the noodles separately (in broth, if you have any) and add them to the soup (the photo above is my bowl, to which he adds lots of noodles for me; Andy's bowl is more soup than noodles). I hate mushy, next-day noodles. If you don't (hate them), just add them to the soup the first night and simplify your life. Top with copious amount parmesan cheese.