Enough of this education-related babble. Why so serious?
Here is a recipe that comes close to Carrabba’s “Mama Mandola’s Spicy Sicilian Chicken Soup”…which I love. I’m not a cook, so if I can make this, so can you.
Mama Mandola’s Spicy Sicilian Chicken Soup (Alaska Copycat Version):
5 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium sweet onions
2 1/2 medium green peppers
10 hearts of celery (I estimated 8 whole stalks, but only had hearts)
8-10 medium carrots (6 large would be enough)
8 medium sized potatoes (maybe just 4-5 larger Idaho baking potatoes?)
10-12 cloves of garlic
4 quarts of chicken stock (2 from boxed broth, 2 from concentrate)
5 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
2 cans of tomatoes (used “Generic” Safeway Diced Petite – 1 28 oz can and 1 14.5 oz can with juice)
1 cup of chopped parsley
Lots of white pepper ( 2 tablespoons total?)
Lots of black pepper (1.5 or 2 tablespoons?)
Salt (1.5 tablespoon?, and then salted to taste at end)
2 pounds of ditalini (or stubby pasta of choice) – as needed when serving
In a large stockpot:
1) Heat olive oil under fairly low to medium heat
2) “Sweat” onion, celery, green pepper and some salt (to draw off moisture) and black pepper for perhaps 30 minutes…this is lower than browning, and makes the veggies somewhat translucent. I covered, and mixed every few minutes to prevent browning.
3) Add carrots, garlic, some white pepper and some black pepper, some WHITE pepper, and continue to heat under “sweat” conditions while mixing now and then.
4) Add chicken stock, chicken breasts, tomatoes and potatoes…and of course some more white pepper and black pepper.
5) Cover and simmer on low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours (or use crock pot?)
6) Remove chicken and let cool and stand to shred
7) Add chopped parsley and return the shredded chicken to the soup
Salt to taste at this point, and add more white and black pepper if your tongue is not twitching a bit when you sample.
9) Simmer while cooking ditalini (or other stubby pasta)
10) Serve soup over cooked pasta to taste.
Note: Like many soups, this may be better made the day before and then served when needed. We will freeze some for ready-made meals and I think it will work out well.