Sunday, September 24, 2006

Of Purses and Pasta

Purse Assembly Take One- Today I gathered my materials, sat myself down and began trying to make this

Look like this

Well, it's looking better than it did the last time we saw it with all those pink strings and yarn clumps hanging off of it right? So the knitting part is done, but these last parts, the embroidery and the assembly I am taking very, very slowly. First of all I knew the embroidery would be tough, I'm a former cross-stitcher and the chart that came with this for the pink argyle part, in my opinion left a lot to be desired. Basically as far as the black x's go I was pretty much on my own. But I muddled through, and I think I'm starting to get somewhere.

I know it doesn't look just like the picture but I think it's passable. After all the trials I've had with this kit so far I'll be happy if I just have something that I can carry in public without being mocked. Oh did I mention I completely ran out of white yarn right in the middle of that section? It's a good thing the directions said it was Takhi Cotton Classic so I could order more. Because I haven't been able to get in touch with the company that makes these kits. It seems they have gone out of business which is ok. So I don't have to feel bad not giving their product a good review because you couldn't buy it if you wanted to anyway. Right? Right. So I finished the embroidery part so far, I'm not happy with the middle of the x's but I'm guessing they didn't like theirs either, that's why they sent the little charms for the middle. I'm going to try to find something else to use though, I'm not so excited with the little purse charms in the kit. They're just not me really, so I have some beads and stuff I'm considering. Next up is sewing the parts together and the form and lining into the inside. That's the black and white flowery thing at the top of the first picture.

My other little project today was Pasta e Fagioli soup. Pronounced pasta fazool, my husband affectionately refers to it as Pasta Fangool. (Pasta Fangool means something bad in Italian- don't repeat it to your kids.) I made us a big double batch and divided up to freeze it for later. You would not believe how nice it is to come home after a long cold day, and heat some of this up for dinner. It is comfort food that warms you down to your toes.

Anyway, I've been told Pasta e Fagioli translated literally means just pasta and beans but this is a soup a lot of people make a lot of different ways. I started with a recipe from I forget where years and years ago, and changed some things and added some others and ended up with this version. There's not an Italian bone in my body, but I just adore this soup. It's got sausage and beans and tomatoes and (gasp!) spinach! Normally I like to use fresh, but I found out thanks to the lovely e. coli outbreak that frozen does just fine in a pinch.

Pasta Fagioli
1 ½ cups canned white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound sweet italian sausage bulk, or links with casings removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium size onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic
3 14 1/2-ounce cans chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
6 ounces ditalini or tubetti pasta (1 cup)
½ 10-ounce bag spinach, roughly chopped (feel free to substitute frozen, just drain it and squeeze out the liquid)
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. In a large soup pot over medium-high heat heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add sausage and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a spoon. With a slotted spoon remove meat to bowl.
2. Reduce heat to medium. In drippings and remaining tablespoon olive oil, cook onions until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes with their juice.
3. Add chicken broth, salt and beans. Over high heat, heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add sausage, heat through.
4. Meanwhile in a saucepan, cook pasta as label directs. Drain pasta, set aside.
5. Just before serving, stir in spinach and cooked pasta. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Freezes beautifully. Or make large batches and share with family and friends. They might just swoon and try to impress you with generous gifts of yarn and fiber... Ok, that's what I would do, but other people will still really enjoy it.


Karin said...

Good lord is that a lot of soup!

Rachel said...

Got enough soup there? Personally I think you ought to open your own soup kitchen.

NO ZOUP for You!

Tracy said...

The purse looks great so far, will you bring it to knitting so we can see it all assembled? I think you're very brave for making it, that black detail stitching looks scary.

And yes, that is a lot of soup - -YUM!!! Lentel is also a great fall soup - we put cut up hot dogs in it instead of ham. It sounds kinda gross but it really adds a lot flavor and it makes it a bit more hearty. I don't know why I'm telling you this, it just popped in my head.

metal and knit said...

since i rememebr a little italian yes your hubby is being rather rude calling it that. Nothing better than big batch of homemade soup you can defrost and warm later.

Alaina said...

its 1:17AM in the morning... Derek and Sweetpea are sleeping next to me, I almost woke them when I laughed out loud about "Pasta Fangool"