• 100g Pancetta or 2 sausages, meat removed from casing (optional)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 500ml water
  • 1 x 400g tin borlotti beans, drained
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 150g ditaloni pasta
  • 6 leaves savoy cabbage, finely sliced
  • 100g Parmesan, to serve


  1. There are numerous recipes for minestrone, some using meat and meat stock, and some that are vegetarian. If you want to add meat, do so at the beginning and cook the pancetta or broken up sausage meat in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until golden brown. Remove from the pan then add back into the soup when you add the borlotti beans and potato.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and gently saute the diced onion, celery and carrot for 15 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Add the tomato puree and stir it in for 1 minute, then add the tinned cherry tomatoes, stock, water, beans and diced potato. Add the oregano and basil along with the salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the cooked meat back in, if using. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the pasta and cook for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Add the savoy cabbage strips to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes until it’s tender. Then switch off the heat and serve with a pile of finely grated parmesan on top of each bowl.