This is a classic winter warmer and is great as a Lunch, Snack, or prepared as a starter for a main meal – to make it more filling, serve with freshly toasted slices of Ciabatta, or fresh crusty rolls.
Why microwave it out of a can, when you can make this fresh, rich and flavoursome dish from scratch, and it’s much more interesting and will warm you twice – once whilst cooking, once whilst eating! It’s also very healthy – just 2g of Saturated fat in each portion.
To serve 4
2tsp Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Carrot, Chopped
1 Celery Stick, Chopped
70g Pancetta, Cubed
1 Garlic Clove, Crushed
2tbsp Fresh Thyme, Chopped
1l Hot Chicken Stock
400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
400g Tin Borlotti Beans, Drained
125g Minestrone Pasta
175g Savoy Cabbage, Shredded
Pesto, to Serve
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and add the Onion, Carrot and Celery, then cook for eight to ten minutes, until the vegetables have softened, before adding the Pancetta, Garlic and Thyme and fry off for a further two to three minutes.
2. Add the Hot Stock, Tomatoes and half of the Borlotti Beans to the pan, and mash the other half of the Beans, and stir them into the pan. Simmer for twenty minutes, season to taste and then add the Pasta and Cabbage and simmer for a further ten minutes.
3. Season to taste, and divide into four bowls, then serve fresh out of the pan with a spoon of Pesto on the top.
Photo Courtesy of: Emily Lou Cooper