SPEAKING OF FOOD: Food pantry hosts tasting to raise funds

More than 600 families a month depend on the food pantry at St. Luke United Methodist Church to help them put food on their tables.
Now, St. Luke is depending on you to help fund that food pantry.
On Saturday, the church will host “Food & Music Extravaganza II: A Taste of Italy,” at the church at 1400 Clayton Ave. The food tasting begins at 5:30 p.m. and a musical concert gets under way at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the church or at the door. Free child care will be provided for children 3 and younger by calling the church at (662) 842-6522 to make a reservation.
“Last year, we raised over $10,000 and that all went toward the purchase of food for the pantry,” said Cliff Pickens, chairman of the board of the food pantry. “This is a non-budgeted item for our church, and we serve over 7,000 families a year.”
Patrons at St. Luke will be invited to stop by several tasting stations for samples of breads and flavored butters, appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, entrees and desserts.
Many of the dishes prepared for the event will have an Italian flare, such as this soup, which will be available at the Soup and Salad station.

Pasta E Fagioli Soup
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
3 (10-ounce) cans beef stock
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 (20-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta

Brown beef, drain fat, and put beef and remaining ingredients, except pasta, in a Crock-Pot. Cook on low 7 to 8 hours or high 4 to 5 hours. During the last hour (if cooking on low) or the last 30 minutes (if cooking on high), add the pasta.
Serves 12 to 14.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal