Place the pepperoni under a pre-heated grill and cook, turning frequently until the skin is charred and blistered, then place in a plastic bag and tie the top – as soon as it is cool enough to handle, peel off the skin, halve and seed the pepper and dice the flesh.
Finely chop the pancetta with the onion, carrot and garlic, heat the oil and add the pancetta mixture to cook over a low heat or a few minutes until lightly browned.
Now add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes before pouring in 2 litres of water and seasoning with salt and pepper – bring to the boil, add the potatoes and beans and simmer this for an hour.
Add the zucchini (courgettes), peas, cabbage, escarole, aubergines and the pepperoni and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Now add the pasta and cook for about 10 minutes until just al dente, check and correct the seasoning, pour into a soup tureen, sprinkle with basil and serve with plenty of provolone, crusty bread and little excellent olive oil for those that would like a little swirl.
remember that the pasta will continue to cook while you check the seasoning and put the soup into the tureen – by the time it gets to the table it will be perfect.