The prosciutto and lard add lots of flavor to this soup, but if you can’t get any, use butter and olive oil instead.
In a food processor, blend the prosciutto, lard, onion, garlic, and basil until all the pieces are minuscule, scraping down the sides occasionally. Alternatively, chop everything very finely with a knife. Put this mixture (called a battuto) in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and everything looks mushy, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add the pasta. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the peas, carrots, and fennel, simmering until both the pasta and the vegetables are just tender, about another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, add a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve immediately.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Grey Crawford