It’s important to cut the vegetables into small pieces, even dice. If you have the rind from a chunk of Parmesan, add it to the broth – it adds a real depth of flavour. Serves 6.

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 130g pancetta or streaky bacon, cut into cubes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 40g Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1-2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2 litres good chicken stock
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 70g small pasta, such as macaroni or tubetti
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped, flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  1. In a big pot, warm the oil over medium heat, then add the pancetta and sauté until just golden.
  2. Add the carrot, onion and celery, lower the heat and sauté, stirring, until soft, about seven minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, potatoes, cabbage and thyme, and cook until the cabbage wilts.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock and a pinch of salt, and simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes.
  5. Add the beans and pasta, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add more stock if it looks a bit thick.
  7. Taste, season and stir in the parsley.

Serve with Parmesan (or hard goat’s cheese) shavings.


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