- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds (about 2 ounces each)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound small white button mushrooms, stemmed and caps quartered
- 1 pound small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 ounces capellini, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
- Toasted peasant bread, for serving
- In a large saucepan, combine the broth and Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the rinds are very soft and the broth is reduced to 4 cups, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil along with the zucchini, peppers and leek and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until slightly broken down, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and the Parmigiano rinds and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
- In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the broken pasta and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir the pasta into the stew and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Discard the rinds and stir in the basil. Serve the vegetable stew in deep bowls, passing toasted bread at the table.
Parmesan rinds give this stew a rustic depth that makes it taste especially good with rosé.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.