|1 tbsp olive oil||1 tbsp tomato puree|
|1 onion, finely chopped||2¼ cups (560 ml) hot vegetable stock|
|1 tsp dried oregano||1 x 14 oz (400 g) can diced tomatoes, with juices|
|4 carrots, cut into small dice||about 8 oz (225 g) cold leftover cooked pasta, such as elbow macaroni or vermicelli, coarsely chopped if large|
|3 celery ribs, cut into small dice||handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped|
|3 garlic cloves, finely chopped||freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving|
|¾ cup dry red wine||sea salt and freshly ground black pepper|
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook gently for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the oregano, then stir in the carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until softened. Now stir in the garlic, and cook for a few seconds more. Pour in the wine, increase the heat, and let bubble for a couple of minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Stir in the tomato puree, and season well with salt and pepper.
Stir in the stock and the tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and gently simmer for about 20 minutes, adding a bit of hot water or extra stock if the minestrone gets too thick (but don't make it too thin).
Stir in the pasta, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot with Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over the top and a salad of mixed greens on the side.
Always keep any leftover rind from Parmesan cheese-you can add it to your minestrone while it's cooking, for extra flavor.
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