You know how we head for chicken soup when we don’t feel great? Not everyone does that!

Maddy, the heroine in the first of my Brothers of Black Rock Ranch series (I’ll have an actual title someday), comes from an Italian family with a grandmother who cooks traditional food. Maddy makes minestrina when her daughter doesn’t feel good. It’s a smooth-and-cheesy pasta soup, sometimes called the Italian feel-better soup. I made it for the hubby the other night, and oh, wow! Yes, comfort food!

Here’s what I did:

  • 3 cups of small pasta (ditalini, small shells, etc.)
  • Chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cubes, divided. (I bought small balls and cut them in pieces)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided. (Yes, spend the money on the fresh!)
  • Olive oil

Cook the pasta in the chicken broth. Drain, but reserve the liquid.

Put half the mozzarella in the bottom of the soup bowls. Add pasta. Sprinkle with half the parmesan cheese.

Repeat layers with the rest of the cheese and pasta.

Ladle drained broth over the pasta and drizzle with a little olive oil. Curl up with a blanket and a good book and enjoy!