Heat EVOO in pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, if using, brown to crisp then add fennel seeds. Add meat, brown and crumble, and season with salt and pepper.
Once the meat is browned well, add chili peppers, onions, garlic, fresh or dried oregano and cook until onions are translucent, 8-10 minutes more. Add beans and stir in tomato paste. Cook 1 minute until fragrant, then add wine or beer. Let the liquid cook down then stir in stock. Simmer to combine flavors.
Serve in bowls topped with cheese and basil or chopped onion.