Pork, pasta, potato and spinach soup

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Meat mains

Pork, pasta, potato and spinach soup

Main Serves 6 1h 50 min
The term 'cucina rustica' seems to be out of fashion but it should be reinstated for this. If you're feeling like a walk on the wild side, it works equally well with sausages instead of the minced pork.


for the meat mix

  • 500g minced pork
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 70ml glass wine, red or white

for the soup

  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 100g pancetta or streaky bacon, diced
  • 450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½cm cubes
  • 2 celery stick, de-stringed and cut into 1½ cubes
  • 100g Parmesan, grated, and a piece of rind
  • 300g spelt penne
  • 300g spinach
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 1h
Cooking time: 50 min

For the meat mixture

  • Step 1

    , combine the ingredients well, compact as much as possible and leave for an hour.

For the soup

  • Step 1

    Heat three tablespoons of oil into a large, heavy saucepan and gently cook the onion on a low heat until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic and pancetta, and turn up the heat a little. Stir until they start to fry and then add the potatoes, meat mix, celery and cheese rind.
  • Step 2

    Keep stirring for about 5 minutes until the pork has browned and the potatoes have started cooking. Add the pasta and cover with boiling water. Stir the mixture frequently, and cook for about 9 minutes; you might need to add some more water.
  • Step 3

    Add the spinach and cook for another 5 minutes, it should then be cooked – test the pasta to see. Season to taste and serve with more olive oil and the grated Parmesan. The rind should have melted into a mush, one lucky winner will find it in their serving.

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