1. Heat pancetta and oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is lightly browned and fat has rendered, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add celery, carrot, onions, zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 5-9 minutes.
  4. Stir in cabbage, garlic, pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the cabbage starts to wilt, 1-2 minutes longer.
  5. Transfer vegetables and pancetta to a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  6. Add beans, water, broth and Parmesan rind to a pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes to an hour.
  8. Add tomato juice and reserved pancetta and vegetables to the pot and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
  9. Discard Parmesan rind, stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve with extra virgin olive oil, grated Parmesan and basil.


The Minestrone can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat gently and add basil just before serving.


Recipe by REGAN BARONI at