1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 ounces pancetta or bacon (about 3 slices), chopped fine
1 medium onion, minced
2 celery rib, chopped fine
4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 anchovy fillets, minced to a paste (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 (28 ounces) can diced tomatoes
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, about 5 inches by 2 inches
2 (15.5 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
8 ounces small pasta such as ditalini, shells or orzo
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
This soup is the best right after it's made. It does not hold well because the pasta absorbs the liquid and will become mushy after a day or two. Don't add more than 8 oz (1 cup) of pasta.
1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and anchovies and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes with their juice, scraping up any browned bits. Add the cheese rind and beans; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer to blend the flavors, 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, water and 1 teaspoon salt; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Discard the cheese rind. Off the heat, stir in 3 tablespoons of the parsley; season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into individual bowls; drizzle each serving with olive oil and sprinkle with a portion of the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Serve immediately, passing the grated Parmesan separately.