Pasta e Patate: an Excellent Italian Soup
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, celery and carrot and toss. Add the 1/4 cup water, stirring, and bring to the boil.
  2. Cook until the water has evaporated, add the garlic, anchovy, chilli, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
  4. Peel and cut the potatoes into 2 cm (¾ inch) cubes and rinse under running water. Set aside.
  5. Add the tomatoes to the saucepan and cook gently for 8 minutes, then add the potatoes.
  6. Stir well and add the boiling water, the extra tablespoon of salt and cover almost completely with a lid. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
  7. Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is firm to the bite (al dente). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Tear the basil and toss in the soup. Serve immediately with grated parmesan cheese on the side.