THE BA­SIC MINE­STRONE

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - On Sunday -

SERVES 4

1 tbs olive oil 150g rind­less ba­con rash­ers, finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 2 car­rots, peeled, coarsely chopped 2 cel­ery sticks, coarsely chopped 3 gar­lic cloves, crushed 2 x 400g cans diced toma­toes 1L (4 cups) chicken stock 2 bay leaves 160g short pasta (we used dried el­bow pasta) 400g can bor­lotti beans, drained, rinsed 100g of what­ever veg­eta­bles you have in your crisper drawer (we used baby spinach leaves) Chopped flat- leaf parsley, shred­ded parme­san, manchego or pecorino to serve Heat the oil in a large heavy- based saucepan over medium heat. Cook the ba­con and onion, stir­ring of­ten, for 5 min­utes or un­til the onion soft­ens slightly. Add the car­rot and cel­ery. Cook, stir­ring of­ten, for 8 min­utes or un­til soft. Add the gar­lic and cook, stir­ring, for 30 sec­onds or un­til aro­matic. Stir in the tomato, stock, 1 cup (250ml) water and bay leaves. Cover and bring to the boil. Re­duce heat to low and sim­mer, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 30 min­utes. Stir in the pasta and beans, and cook for 10 min­utes. Add the spinach (or other veg) and cook, for a fur­ther 2 min­utes or un­til pasta is al dente and spinach has wilted. Sea­son with pep­per. La­dle among serv­ing bowls. Sprin­kle with parsley and parme­san (or other cheese) to serve.

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