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Sarah Scott's Hearty Minestrone

A bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans with Fresh fennel and carrots on a cutting board

She's too humble to say it, but we'll declare that Sarah was at the forefront of "Wine County Cooking" from the start. Her early work with local wineries to prepare food that matched their wines is historic and we're always thrilled when we get to work together, plus she's a lot of fun. 

This is the perfect "soup season" contribution from one of Napa's brightest culinary voices. 

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 oz. pancetta, finely diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, finely diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 piece (approx. 3”x4”) Parmigiano Reggiano rind
  • 3 quarts chicken stock or broth
  • ½ lb. green beans, cut into ¼” pieces
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into ¼” dice
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, cooked and cut into ¼” dice
  • 2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Marcella beans
  • 1 cup small elbow macaroni

Makes approx. 5 quarts; serves 4 to 6

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the onions, celery, carrots, fennel, and garlic and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.
  2. Add the tomatoes with their juice, basil, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, Parmigiano Reggiano rind and chicken stock, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, bring the soup back to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and continue cooking until the macaroni is tender and cooked through, about 30-40 more minutes.
  4. Taste for seasoning, adding additional salt and/or pepper as needed. If it is thick, add more chicken stock to desired consistency.


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