Serves 4 with a few serves for lunches
2 rashers bacon, snipped; 1 brown onion, diced; 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped; 2 carrots, finely sliced or diced into 2cm cubes; 1 large stalk celery, finely sliced; 2 tbsp oil; 1 1/2 litres water with 2 beef stock cubes added; 2 tbsp tomato paste; 1 1/2 cups penne or macaroni; 1 tin cannelini beans, drained and rinsed OR 1 cup dried cannelini beans which have been soaked overnight, then rinsed; 1 or 2 zucchini, sliced; 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped; 30g parmesan cheese grated
Heat oil in large stock pot and add bacon, onion, garlic, carrots and celery and stir fry over heat for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are coated and getting soft. Add water and stock cubes, tomato paste and beans and, if you have it, the old rind of a parmesan cheese wedge that you thought you should throw out.
Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for the next hour. From time to time, skim the scum off the surface.
Remove cheese wedge from soup, then add pasta, zucchini and parsley and turn up heat to a high simmer/low boil and cook until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
Serve with more parsley scattered across the top and grated parmesan cheese and some crusty bread if you think you can fit it in.
COST: $4.80 for 4 people plus leftovers