Chefs' Recipes

Supermaxi's minestra

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for minestra by Rita Macali from Melbourne restaurant Supermaxi.

By Rita Macali
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 25 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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"This traditional dish is from my family's region, Lazio."


  • 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Desiree potatoes, cut into 5mm dice
  • 300 gm crushed canned tomatoes
  • 420 gm podded borlotti beans (about 1kg unpodded; see note)
  • 1 small rosemary sprig
  • 120 gm dried ditalini (see note)
  • 1 curly endive, trimmed
  • To serve: finely grated parmesan
  • To serve: crusty bread


  • 1
    Heat 40ml olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until beginning to soften (5-7 minutes). Add potato and sauté until starting to soften (5-7 minutes). Add tomato, simmer to reduce slightly, add beans, rosemary and 2 litres water, bring to the simmer, then cover and cook until potato and beans are very tender (50 minutes-1 hour). Remove lid, add ditalini and stir occasionally until al dente (6-8 minutes). Add endive, stir occasionally until wilted (1-2 minutes), season to taste. Scatter with parmesan and serve hot with crusty bread.


If fresh borlotti beans are unavailable, substitute dried borlotti beans. Soak beans overnight in cold water, drain, combine in a large saucepan with cold water and cook until tender (25-30 minutes). Ditalini is a small tubular pasta available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute another small pasta.
This recipe is from the August 2010 issue of

  • undefined: Rita Macali