Recipe by Papa Di
My Grandma's recipe that has been passed down for many years. It is a tomato based soup with Ditalini pasta, tiny meatballs, and great northern beans. I make several gallons for a church election supper once a year, and very seldom is there any left! My grandma could cook an old shoe and make it taste super.
Top Review by KATHY V.
This is a WONDERFUL, no-fail recipe that will become a family treasure. It is fairly easy to make.I recommend you read through the entire recipe first because some of the ingredients are divided (ex. parsley 2 Tbsp added to meatballs, the remaining 4 added later). Make the meatballs tiny (think the size of an ordinary marble). I have made this at least 6 times in the past year and it gets eaten up in less than 2 days. I use PETITE diced tomatoes but otherwise follow the recipe as directed. Thank you Papa Di!
- 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup onion, Finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, Minced
- 1 carrot, Finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, Finely chopped
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
- water, as needed
- 2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans (Drained)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 6 tablespoons parsley
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 8 ounces ditalini
- 1 lb ground beef round
- 1⁄2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- salt and pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- Add the EVO, onion, garlic, carrot and celery to a 1-2 gal. cooking pot.
- Cook on medium low heat until they are soft and the onions transparent (Appr. 15-20 mins).
- While the vegetables are cooking, mix the beef, egg, onion powder, garlic powder, 2 TBS. parsley flakes, 1/2 tbs. basil, bread crumbs, 2 Tbs. parseman cheese, S & P. Shape into tiny meatballs (Appr. 1/2 " in diameter) are fry until done. You may need to cook several batches, depending on the size of your skillet.
- After the vegetables have cooked, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and the rest of the parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf, sugar, & baking soda. Stir occasionally until foam disappears from the baking soda.
- Cook until well mixed and add the meatballs.
- Simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours and then add the beans. Simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes. Add water to the soup if it seems to get too thick.
- While the soup is simmering, Cook the ditalini noodles until they are a-denti. DO NOT OVERCOOK!
- Add the pasta to the soup just before serving. Do not add the pasta to the soup too soon! The longer the soup cooks with the noodles, the larger the noodles get.
- Serve with a crusty bread, green salad, and extra Parmesan cheese.
- Measurements are not brain surgery. Be close, and you cannot make a mistake. ENJOY!