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    Beef Minestrone

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    Beef Minestrone

    This long, slow-cooked twist on an Italian classic makes a filling and warming meal, full of nuggets of tender meat.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 6½ - 8½ hours

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp Waitrose 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra to serve
    • 400g pack Waitrose Ready To Sauté Soffritto (from the chiller)
    • 500g ox cheek, cut into 1cm cubes
    • 4 tbsp tomato purée
    • 400g tin Waitrose Chopped Tomatoes with Olive Oil and Chopped Garlic
    • 1 litre Cooks' Ingredients Beef Stock
    • 125 g Waitrose Orzo Pasta
    • 100g pack Waitrose Mild Baby Spinach

    Method

    1. Warm half the oil in a large pan over a high heat. Fry the soffritto for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and just golden, then remove with a slotted spoon, spoon into the slow cooker and set aside.
    2. Return the pan to the heat with the remaining oil and fry the meat for 5 minutes, or until it has browned.
    3. Add the meat to the slow cooker with the tomato purée, tomatoes and beef stock. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low, until the meat is tender. Increase the temperature to high, stir in the pasta and cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until the pasta is al dente and the soup is piping hot. Stir in the spinach and season to taste. Serve in bowls, drizzled with a little olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan and torn basil.
    4. CONVENTIONAL COOKING Follow the recipe in steps 1 and 2, browning the soffritto in a large pan then removing it to a plate. In step 3, return the soffritto to the pan with the tomato purée, tomatoes, beef stock and 350ml boiling water. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, until the meat is tender. Increase the temperature, add the pasta, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the spinach and seasoning before serving and finishing as above.

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