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Panini & Zuppa Supper

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Warm up your weeknight meal with the flavors of Italy

This easy weeknight supper pairs a classic soup with a crispy, Italian-inspired sandwich and finishes with sweet, juicy roasted pears. The menu is simple to pull-off on any busy night: the soup can be made days ahead, the pears go into the oven and roast, hands-off, for an hour, and the panini is ready in minutes. This menu serves three to four with leftover soup.

Menu Timeline

Up to five days ahead:

  • Make the soup. Cool and refrigerate.

An hour ahead:

  • Put the pears in the oven to roast. When they’re done, turn off the oven and leave the pears inside to keep warm until ready to serve.

Thirty minutes ahead:

  • Reheat the soup.
  • Cook the spinach and squeeze out excess liquid.
  • Assemble & cook the paninis.

Just before dessert:

  • Plate & serve the pears.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce:

  • 5 oz. baby spinach (about 5 lightly packed cups)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 3 medium red onions
  • 3 medium celery ribs with leaves
  • 4 firm-ripe pears (any variety)
  • 5 medium cloves garlic

Meat & Dairy

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 6 very thin slices prosciutto, preferably imported (about 3-1/2 oz.)
  • 1-1/4 cups grated fontina cheese
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, more for garnish
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter

Other Groceries:

  • Three 7- to 8-inch pitas
  • Two 15-1/2-oz. cans chickpeas
  • 14-1/2-oz. can petite-cut diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tubettini (or other small pasta)
  • 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sweet dessert wine, such as a late-harvest Muscat or a Viognier like Bonny Doon’s Viognier Doux

Pantry Staples:

  • 2 quarts lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 slender 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • Kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu

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