There are many different varieties of minestrone, each one varying according to regional customs. I’ll allow you to substitute a stock cube for home made stock in this recipe, but only if you really have to!
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 small garlic clove. peeled and chopped
- 2 rashers streaky bacon, rinded and finely chopped or 25 g (1 oz) Parma ham, finely chopped (optional)
- 4 celery sticks, diced
- 1 tomato, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- Few leaves basil, or 1 tbsp pesto sauce
- 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) chicken stock
- 1x375g (13 oz) tin borlotti beans, drained
- 100 g (4 oz) tubettini (fresh or dried)
- 75 g (3 oz) freshly grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic with the chopped bacon or Parma ham (if using), until the onion is soft. Add the remaining vegetables, the basil or pesto, and toss well with the oil. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Cook for around 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the borlotti beans and the pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Serve hot, sprinkled with the grated Parmesan.