This is a hearty pasta and potato soup which I discovered on a recent trip to Italy that has fast become a staple mid-week dinner in my house. A traditional Neopolitan peasant dish, it contains both pasta and potatoes which, to some, may seem a bit excessive on the carb front but it really is a comforting and cheap meal that can be used as a way to use up whatever ingredients you have in your store cupboard. This is one of many dishes in Italian cuisine which contains both pasta and either peas, beans, lentils or potatoes. The addition of chill flakes in this recipe is non-traditional but it adds to the robustness of the soup.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 slices pancetta, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 potato, cubed and placed in cold water until needed
100ml tomato passata
500ml chicken stock
100g pasta such as messiconi (or any short pasta that you may have in the cupboard)
Parmesan, to serve
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the pancetta, onion, celery and carrot. Cook these on a medium heat for around 10 minutes or until soft.
2. Add the chopped rosemary and garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
3. Drain the potato cubes and add to the pan along with the chilli flakes and the passata. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the stock.
4. Bring to the boil, add the pasta and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until both the potato and the pasta are cooked.
5. Serve with lashings of parmesan.