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posted: 6/24/2014 5:30 AM

Pastina

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2 tablespoons olive oils

6 skinless chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

1 stalk celery, diced, leaves included

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, pressed

3 carrots peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds

5 quarts water

¾ cup pasta sauce

1 tablespoon parsley chopped

1 pound ancini di pepe (tiny round) pasta

¼ pound pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated

Heat oil in a heavy stock pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken salt and pepper and brown both sides.

Remove thighs to a bowl.

Add the vegetables to the pot and stir fry till the onions and celery are clear and have started to sweat.

Put the chicken back in the pot and add the water, pasta sauce, parsley, 1 tablespoon salt and 1½ teaspoons fresh-cracked pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer partially covered for 3 hours skimming off any foam that forms.

When you're ready to serve, cook the pasta according to box directions. Ladle 2 scoops of soup (including vegetables and chicken (removing any bones or cartilage) in a bowl. Add 1 ladle of pasta and 1 to 2 teaspoons of cheese.

Serves 10 to 12.

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