I haven’t cooked anything worth noting for a week-
I sustain off taste-tests from work, bagged salad (yes, still), and half-drank cups of coffee that I only seem to get one or two hot sips from, despite it being housed inside of a Yeti.
And shit sucks.
I am fueled by copious amounts of anxiety and the kind of stress that has me wide awake and staring into the pale, full-moon face of my infant son at 2 am until the backs of my eyelids begin to sting.
I really wanted a United Separation. Let me paint you a picture-
We’re separating, but we love our kids so hard and only thing that matters is being A Unit for them.
But I’ve loved you for so long, I reckon I always will, and it’s okay that there is space because it’s healthy and needed.
We are separated,
But I care about you, your mental and physical health, your success, your happiness, you name it.
We are done.
And you know what it looks like? None of that. It doesn’t look like any of that. It looks like the things I desperately wanted to avoid because I’m better than that. I wanted us to be better than that.
It’s Scarlett struggling like I’ve never seen her struggle before. It’s hearing ugliness and words-you-can’t-take-back. It’s threats and moves that never had to be made.
It’s every individual for themselves.
It’s a big Fuck You.
The reason(s) I asked for a separation can basically be summed up by-
I think you love me. But I don’t think you like me. You don’t see me or notice me. The things that interest me, the things I do, the places I’m going, the life I’m creating, you don’t see it.
Our values don’t align.
I don’t remember the last time you noticed me.
And I wish you would.
And I’m lonely.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, you know? In my mind, if I removed myself from having to take up emotional and physical space in his head and heart, perhaps he would have more room to be my friend and be my co-parent.
But it’s not that today and I don’t know if it will be tomorrow.
So while one of us continues to make things as emotionally charged snd shitty for the rest of us, I find myself still doing that thing with my buckets, and desperately trying to scoop water out of an already-sunken-ship. I collected orders, and marveled at the fact that my cottage bakery sold out in a matter of hours. I worked, and I baby-wore. I wiped the tears of my preschooler for the millionth time. I made Minestrone My Way, to offer some normalcy to my baby when she got home from school.
What even is that anymore?
I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.
Make this minestrone YOUR way. Vegetarian? I like to add miso paste with my tomato paste (just hush, and try it). Maybe you want to add Italian sausage, maybe you want more beans or more vegetables. Use herbs, fresh preferably, almost anything goes (I said almost), and cook your pasta separately to avoid the soggy-scaries as next-day-leftovers.
- 1 28 oz can crushed San marzano tomatoes
- 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4-6 cups chicken broth
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 yellow onions, diced
- 1 stalks celery, diced
- 1 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 small-medium sized head green cabbage, chopped or a few handfuls of spinach
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- A couple handfuls of fresh herbs. I used a couple sprigs of rosemary and a handful of basil to serve
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 ounces small pasta of your choice such as ditalini or mini-bowties (optional but suggested)
- Red pepper flake (optional)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Parmesan rind (technically optional but not really in my opinion)
- Few splashes of red wine vinegar
1. Heat a large pot on medium high, add pancetta and cooked until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is just starting to crisp. Do not drain fat.
2. Add onion, celery, carrot, tomato paste, herbs of your choice, bay leaves, and a sprinkle of salt, sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions start to become soft and translucent.
3. Add the garlic, a sprinkle of chili flake, and the zucchini, another pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Cook for two minutes or until the zucchini starts releasing moisture.
4. Add the tomatoes and bring everything to a simmer, stirring often for 5 minutes.
5. Add the broth and the Parmesan rind. 6. Bring to a very low boil and turn the heat down so that it gently simmers.
7. Cover with a lid. Like with any great soup or stew, I like to give it some time to hang out. Preferably one to one and a half hours, stirring occasionally, letting it to simmer for an additional thirty minutes before serving. If time is of the essence, this be ready in as little as thirty minutes.
8. Meanwhile, cook your pasta to al dente in a separate pot. This allows you to add it into your bowl prior to serving so that it doesn’t get soggy in the event you have leftovers the next day. I cannot stand over-cooked pasta.
9. Once it has simmered for at least 30 minutes to an hour, remove the lid, add the beans and the cabbage and let it simmer, uncovered, for an additional 10-20 minutes.
10. Add a couple splashes of red wine vinegar, taste for seasoning, give it a few solid cranks on a pepper mill and there you have it.
11. Serve over a spoonful of pasta on your bowl with freshly cracked pepper and a generous grating of fresh parmesan.