In a large deep skillet, saute bacon until some fat is rendered; add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and red pepper to skillet and saute until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, cook and stir occasionally for 10 more minutes.
Stir in beans; add broth and bring to a gentle boil. Add macaroni (or other small pasta) and continue cooking until pasta is tender, but still firm, about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese if desired; or cover, refrigerate and reheat gently to serving temperature.