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Pasta Soup with Potatoes and Pancetta

Many people would never associate pasta and potato, but in this case, you’re really going to have to trust me. This recipe has been in my family for more than 50 years, and considering that so far there’ve been two chefs in the family, it must be fantastico! Make sure you use a mealy potato like a russet. [Editor's Note: The word "mealy" in conjunction with potatoes may, for some, have undesirable associations. Although in this recipe, mealy is actually quite coveted given the lovely richness and thickness it lends to the consistency of this soup.]–Gino D’Acampo

LC Like Bacon for Pancetta? Note

We’ve a wee caveat to share with anyone tempted to substitute bacon for pancetta in this pantry-minded recipe. While that swap works in some recipes, we don’t encourage trying it here. Pancetta’s sturdy texture and meatiness handily withstand being simmered in this soupy stew without becoming limpid and soggy. Sadly, the same can’t be said about bacon, which turns flabby. Save it for frying up in a pan.

Pasta Soup with Potatoes, Pancetta and Leeks Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large leek, washed and finely chopped
  • 9 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 14 ounces mealy potatoes, such as russets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 small potatoes or 1 very large one)
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) hot vegetable stock (or substitute homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth, beef, or duck stock)
  • 3 tablespoons canned chopped tomatoes, drained, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) farfalline or another soup pasta (or even spaghetti, broken into bits)
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • 1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the leek and pancetta for about 3 minutes. Add the carrot and potato and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for another 2 minutes.
  • 2. Pour in the stock, lower the heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • 3. Add the chopped tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the pasta and continue to cook over low heat, uncovered, stirring every 2 minutes, until the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes.
  • 4. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Immediately ladle the soup into bowls.
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