Slow Cook Minestrone

I’ve forgotten where I first found this recipe. I had bought two bunches of kale from the farmers market and didn’t know what to do with them. I used leftover Roasted Butternut Squash and Pasta from a previous dinner to substitute for the squash and bowtie pasta below.

Slow-cooked minestroneIngredients:

  • 1 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 pound sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 3 med red onions, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 med carrots, chopped
  • 1/3 c EVOO
  • 1 bunch kale, swiss chard or other green
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 2 14-oz containers of beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c dried farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 1 med butternut squash, cut into ½” chunks, roasted
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  • Make the soffrito: Cook pancetta, beef, onions, celery, and carrots in EVOO in large heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally
  • Prep greens by cutting out and chopping stems, reserving leaves.
  • Stir stems into mixture.
  • Add garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and begin to stick to bottom of pot, about 45 minutes.
  • Push mixture to one side of pot.
  • Add tomato paste to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir mixture about 2 minutes, being careful to avoid burning.
  • Transfer to 5-qt slow cooker.
  • Stir in tomatoes with (with juice), breaking them up with spoon
  • Add broth; stir well to scrape bits from bottom of pot.
  • Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 450°. Place butternut squash on cooking tray. Drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once and rotating sheets halfway through. Set aside.
  • Add cannellini beans and greens to slow cooker and cook until greens are wilted.
  • Cook pasta as directed, drain.

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