I made this dish last year on a snowy day with what I had in my pantry. I wasn't about to go to the market with a foot of snow on the ground and abominable road conditions to try and find pancetta and fresh herbs. I knew I could make this work with what I had at home. And I do believe I achieved my goal.
1In large soup pot on medium to low heat, add oil. Then add onions, carrots and celery. After a minute or two add bay leaves, salt, pepper, Old Bay, crushed red pepper and garlic. Cook on low, covered, until vegetables are soft (about 6-8 minutes). Don't brown the mixture, you just want them to sweat.
2Add beans, tomato sauce, chicken broth and water. Increase heat and bring to a rapid boil. Add pasta, reduce heat to medium, simmer uncovered and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and cook another 3 minutes.
3Fish out the bay leaves and serve with a dusting of cheese and a crusty loaf of bread.