She would always make this meal for my brother and I when we spent the night at her house.
Decades ago, when I was a wee girl, she taught me to make this in her little granny kitchen. She showed me the steps, one by one.
She made it very clear that there is a "right way" and a "wrong way" to do this. Agreed. It must be done exactly as described here or it won't turn out right.
That said, I've heard my sweet husband say that this meal reminds him of Chef Boyardee Spaghetti O's.
Seriously? I don't think he meant to knock my favorite childhood meal. This statement is simply evidence that he did not grow up with a true Italian cook in the kitchen. He's not used to the refined taste of poor-man's pasta and beans soup.
I'll forgive him.
Besides, it is my kids' favorite thing to eat.
Please note that this Pasta e Fagioli soup will not taste like the soup you order at Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill or any other Italian eatery. This is Pasta Fajoli (as Grandma liked to spell it) from the kitchen of a little Italian grandmother who grew up during the Great Depression with 19 brothers and sisters.
2 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz tomato sauce
1 can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed (or use Cannellini beans if you can't find Great Northern)
1 lb ditalini pasta (we use Tinkyada shells instead)
1 tsp basil, dried crushed
1 tsp oregano, dried crushed
The Preparation Method:
Photo Disclaimer: The lighting conditions in The Little White Kitchen were particularly bad on this fine Wednesday evening. Please consider these photos a work of Contemporary Art more than Fine Food Photography. Thank you.
Saute the onions, basil and oregano in the hot oil over medium heat for five minutes.
This is one of Grandma's favorite artists. She too liked to dance while she cooked. It's in the genes. Thanks Grandma for leaving us such a rich love of music and dancing and love of true Italian food.
Dean Martin - Volare
Find the printable recipe here.