Winter is upon us and there’s nothing more comforting on a cold winters day than a hearty bowl of
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 rashers bacon
1 small leek
1 clove garlic
1 carrot chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
1 large potato diced
1litre beef stock
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 fresh bay leaf
2 x 400g can Italian diced tomatoes
sea salt & pepper
1 cup risoni pasta
1 zucchini chopped
1 x 400g can rinsed cannellini/butter/borlotti beans
handful fresh basil
parmesan & crusty bread to serve
Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Trim and roughly chop the carrots, celery andzuchinni, then add the vegetables to a large bowl.
Cut the ends off the leek, quarter it lengthways, wash it under running water, then cut into 1cm slices. Add to the bowl.
Drain the cannellini beans, then set aside.
Finely slice the bacon, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry gently for 2 minutes, or until golden.
Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, leek, oregano and bay and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
Add the potato, cannellini beans and tinned tomatoes, then pour in the beef stock. Stir well, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
Cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through.
Add the pasta to the pan, and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente, add fresh basil.
Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then serve with a grating of Parmesan and a slice of crusty bread.