2 tblsp olive oil
Small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 rashers of bacon, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chilli flakes (or powder)
2 bay leaves
Vegetables, chopped ( see
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups dried pasta
1 can cannellini, borlotti or haricot beans
Although I initially use about a litre of stock, if it’s left to stand for a while the pasta absorbs more of the liquid. It then turns into more of a solid meal than a soup. So if you’re heating it up for serving the following day and want it more soupy you can add stock as required.
Fry the onion, garlic and seasoning in the heated oil until softened, then add the bacon and cook till browned. I wanted it quite meaty, so I went for six rashers, you could of course add less if that seems a bit much. Or none at all for a non-meat version.
Add the chopped vegetables and fry on a higher heat for 3 or 4 minutes stirring constantly, then turn down the heat, cover the pan with a lid and heat for a further 10/15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock and bay leaves, bring to the boil, add the pasta, once it’s returned to the boil turn down the heat again and simmer for the length of time the pasta needs to cook. Finally add the beans, stir them through, cover, and turn off the heat.
Serve with parmesan and freshly-ground pepper to taste.