My mamma kept this soup on high rotation when we were growing up, not only because it’s delicious and nutritious, but also because it’s cooked in one pot: no straining, no mess, no extra washing up.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (29 votes)

And it’s the perfect way to use up nearly-empty packets of pasta.


  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 golden shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 small celery stalk, thinly sliced, leaves reserved
  • 80 g piece of pancetta, cut into thin strips
  • 400 g potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 small parmigiano or pecorino rind
  • 400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 320 g pasta mista (leftover mixed pasta)
  • freshly grated parmigiano or pecorino, to serve
  • crusty bread, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Fill your kettle with water and put it on to boil.

2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the shallot, celery and pancetta and cook for 2–3 minutes until the pancetta starts to brown and the onion is translucent. Add the potato, cheese rind, chickpeas and enough boiling water to just cover and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5–6 minutes or until the potato has softened.

3. Add the tomatoes, pasta and enough boiling water to cover everything by 8 cm. Stir gently and cook for 8–9 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.

4. Discard the cheese rind, then ladle into bowls. Finish with freshly ground pepper, a little extra olive oil, grated cheese and the reserved celery leaves, if you like. Serve hot with some crusty bread.


Simple Italian by Silvia Colloca, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Rob Palmer