Meals and Courses

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) red wine
  • 750 ml (1¼ pints) vegetable stock
  • 400 g (13 oz) can mixed beans or Tuscan bean mix, drained
  • 2–3 thyme sprigs, chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100 g (3½ oz) mini wholewheat pasta shapes or orzo
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium-low heat, then add the onion, celery, carrot, red pepper and garlic and cook gently for 12–15 minutes or until softened. Add the tomato purée and wine and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.

Stir in the stock, beans, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Stir in the pasta shapes and continue to simmer for about 12 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.

Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled with the Parmesan, if liked.

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