Serves 6 to 8
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1 3/4 pounds)
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- Kosher salt and peperoncino
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 1 or 2 pieces of rind from a wedge of Grana Padano, washed (you can save the rind from the cheese you'll need below)
- 1 cup small pasta shapes (pastina, ditalini, pennette, etc...)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Grated Grana Padano, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook until lightly browned and they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Season with salt and a pinch of peperoncino. Cook and stir until the carrots and celery begin to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes.
Make a spot in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste. Let toast for a minute, then stir into the vegetables. Add 10 cups of water, the bay leaves and cheese rind. Bring to a simmer. Cook at a vigorous simmer until the potatoes have begun to full apart and thicken the soup, about 30 minutes. Add the pasta to the soup and simmer until al dente. Discard the bay leaves and what’s left of the cheese rind. Stir in the parsley. Serve with soup with a sprinkle of grated cheese and a drizzle of oil.