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Culinary SOS

Meatless Pasta Soup

April 01, 1998|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: Spiga Trattoria in Costa Mesa has a fabulous pasta e fagioli. Could you please obtain the recipe for me?


DEAR DEBBIE: Certainly. Pasta e fagioli, a classic soup from Italy, is a hearty dish, often vegetarian, you can serve during Lent or any time.


1 pound white kidney beans

Water or vegetable broth

1 cup diced yellow squash

1 cup diced zucchini

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup sliced leeks

1 cup diced celery

2 cups peeled diced potatoes


1/2 pound tube-shaped pasta

Soak beans overnight in 16 cups water.

Bring squash, zucchini, carrots, leeks, celery, potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt with water to cover to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 20 minutes.

Blend vegetables and cooking liquid in batches in food processor. Set aside.

Strain and rinse beans. Bring beans, 8 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Strain beans.

Combine beans and vegetable mixture and bring to boil over low heat. Add pasta and cook until pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

6 servings. Each serving:

369 calories; 144 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 72 grams carbohydrates; 19 grams protein; 4.59 grams fiber.

Salsa Ole

DEAR SOS: My family and I think there is no better salsa than that served at the El Torito restaurants. Even our Mexican American relatives don't know the secret. Can you obtain the recipe?


DEAR JACKIE: The recipe appeared in one of El Torito's promotional booklets we've had on hand for a while.


2 cups (1/4-inch) diced tomatoes

1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diced onions

1 to 2 tablespoons finely diced jalapenos

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon Mexican dried leaf oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Combine tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, oil, vinegar, lime juice, oregano, salt and cilantro in large stainless steel mixing bowl. Taste and add additional salt if desired.

4 servings. Each serving:

58 calories; 185 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.78 grams fiber.


Bowl and plate, above right, from Freehand, Los Angeles.

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