It seems that not too long ago I was shuffling thru my recipes trying to get ready for Thanksgiving. Abbra-cadabbra and the Thanksgiving table was laden with all the things our family enjoys and anticipates, along with a few ceramic turkeys, a pilgrim here and there and then some flowers. These were hardly out of the closet when they were back in hiding until next year and then what to my wondering eyes should appear but our 9’ Christmas tree, compliments of our son and grandson, standing tall in the family room surrounded by boxes of ornaments and a million or so other things needed for decorating to get ready for Christmas. Olivia, our 9-year-old granddaughter had the tree decked out in no time at all with very little help. Everything was perfectly placed as far up as she could reach. Then came tall grandchildren to the rescue.
We’ve wrapped and packed and stamped and mailed and baked and cooked, enjoyed a multitude of festivities and Gulp…it is New Year’s Day. I normally take the tree down on this day as I watch the Pasadena Rose bowl Parade. Sometime during the game our son and one of our grandsons will take it back to its resting place. This year that all happened on the 2nd and sort of messed up my planning. All week I was a day behind, or was it a day ahead?
January, I told myself was to be a month to reorganize. Ha! Everyone knows that when you start a project of trying to eliminate and organize one must examine every little object to contemplate its treasure level. Need I say more! And January is also birthday month for a few of us, so a Birthday Brunch was in the planning.
And now it’s February, a busy month to ponder when you haven’t finished January yet. It’s tax month for us, then we have Groundhog Day, please less winter, followed by Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Lent, Feast of St. Joseph and the cursed taxes are still hauntingly waiting in the wings to get finished. And so, the year continues to just zip on by.
February is usually cold and dreary and a very good month for soup. One of our favorites is a tasty Cavatelli Soup.
1 SPRIG ROSEMARY
SALT AND PEPPER- to taste
8 CUPS CHICKEN STOCK
¼ CUP OLIVE OIL
3 CLOVES GARLIC – chopped
1 LARGE ONION – halved and sliced thin
½ LB PANCETTA – cubed
2 CUPS CHERRY TOMATOES – halved, optional
PINCH RED PEPPER FLAKES –or to taste
1 PACKAGE CAVATELLI – fresh or frozen
Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and bring to a boil. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic and sauté over medium heat. Add the onions and pancetta and sauté until the onions brown, then slowly add the tomatoes, pepper flakes and continue to sauté.
Once the stock comes to a boil, add the onion, pancetta mixture. Add a pinch of salt, (not too much because there is salt in the pancetta) and simmer over low heat with the lid partially on for about 30 minutes. Just before ready to serve add a package of cavatelli, either cheese or meat filled and cook until the cavatelli are tender. Ladle into soup bowls, sprinkle with a little extra virgin olive oil and ……. Pass the grated cheese for sprinkling!