Fresh spinach tends to be highly infested with insects small insects throughout the year. Please check “Special Instructions” below for information on how inspect spinach for infestation.
1 cup frozen chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (15- to 19-ounce) can cannellini beans, undrained
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (1.4-ounce) package dry vegetable soup mix
1 (16-ounce) package frozen cooked meatballs or vegetarian meatballs
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup elbow pasta, uncooked
1 (10-ounce) package fresh washed baby spinach
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the onion and the garlic in the olive oil until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in vegetable soup mix until dissolved. Add meatballs, tomatoes and crushed red pepper and return to a boil. Add elbow macaroni and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until pasta are tender. Add the spinach and stir until it is wilted, about 1 minute.Spinach Infestation Inspection: Spinach tends to be highly infested throughout the year. Light green thrips are often found in the small curls of the leaves. Occasionally, worms may be found in burrows within the body of the leaf. Look for a narrow (1/8_) translucent burrow speckled with black dots breaking up the deep green color of the leaf. These burrows will often trap the worm within the leaf. To rid the leaf of these worms, carefully slit the bumpy part within the burrow with a sharp knife and remove the worm. Please note Only flat leaf spinach is recommended because its flat surface lends itself to efficient washing. Curly leaf spinach is difficult to clean and check. It is therefore not recommended. Spinach Inspection: 1. Soak leaves in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.) 2. Separate spinach leaves and agitate in the soapy solution. 3. Using a heavy stream of water or a power hose, remove all foreign matter and soap from the leaf surface. Alternatively, a vegetable brush may be used on both sides of the leaf. 4. Several leaves should be checked over a light box or under strong overhead light to verify that the washing procedure has been effective. Both sides of the leaf must be checked. 5. If it is practical, it is best to check each leaf.