In the kitchen...

One pot… minestrone

An Italian staple, vibrantly rich on the eye and wholesome to boot, with crusty bread to mop up.


Olive oil

4 slices diced pancetta/bacon

2 each of the following (chopped ): onions, potatoes, carrots, celery stalks, garlic cloves and courgettes

2 tins tomatoes

1 glass red wine

500ml (1pt ) any stock

200 g (0.5lb ) chopped (incl stalks ) spinach/chard

80g (3oz ) dried pasta (small shapes )

1 tin cannelli/borlotti/haricot beans*

2 handfuls frozen peas

Handful chopped parsley and basil

Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper


Heat some olive oil and sweat slowly, lid ajar, cook the chopped pancetta/bacon, onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic and basil stalks for 25 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add stock, courgettes, spinach/chard, pasta and parsley. When the pasta and courgettes are cooked, add the cooked beans and peas and heat through. Add the torn basil leaves, season and serve with grated Parmesan and crusty bread.

*Dried beans can be used, soaked overnight, then cooked with a bay leaf.



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