Pasta and beans - a winter classic

Every Italian family must have a recipe for 'pasta e fagioli'. The fact that it is different from their neighbours and that each family believes theirs is the best, goes without saying. The principle ingredient are well-flavoured broth, some cooked beans and whatever combination of ingredient you have to hand. We used a rasher of bacon, some herbs and garlic, a few late tomatoes and a tiny bit of chilli. The trick is just to puree half the beans to thicken the soup. We had a bit pf pesto in the freezer for a final flourish.

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