Minestrone della Nonna

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1¼ hours
  • Total time: 1½ hours


  • 100g/4oz parmigiano
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup of orzo
  • 1 cup frozen/fresh garden peas
  • 1 cup borlotti beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • ¼ savoy cabbage, diced
  • 1 broccoli floret, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • Basil leaves (to add at the end)
Minestrone della Nonna

This Minestrone della Nonna recipe was written by Sara Danesin - UK MasterChef Finalist 2011 - for Garofalo pasta, and we are most grateful to have her send it to Kitchen Geekery too.

The struggle to get children to eat vegetables is frequently linked to how they are presented (frequently too big, too obvious, boiled to death, with no flavour etc). This dish provides a wide array of vegetables (all sorts of vitamins) coupled with flavour (not too intense though for the little ones), ease of eating (it is coarse soup if you like) and mixes very well with a child friendly Garofalo pasta like Risoni (providing all the nourishment that this brings).

It is amazing how popular dish can be with children who would normally not get anywhere near such an array of vegetables.


  1. All the above (except basil) diced and placed in a large pan with at least 1 litre of boiling water
  2. Season and cook for at least one hour
  3. Blitz either all or half to a coarse puree’ with a hand held blender - depending on the texture you desire.
  4. Cook the pasta separately and once Al Dente place it into the soup, stir and simmer for a couple of minutes and add finely chopped basil leaves, and sprinkle some good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Serve at once and enjoy. In summer (if hot!) the minestrone can be served at room temperature.
The Roman army is said to have marched on minestrone and pasta e ceci (Beans and pasta).

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