April 16, 2024

The following Pasta Va Zul recipe is from reader Nurse Michele. She writes:

“This is a simple pasta dish that has been around for centuries. I learned it from my Naples-born grandmother. She never wrote it down, or measured any ingredients. And, for years, neither did I. But at the request of friends some years ago, I paid attention as I made a pot of it and wrote the amounts and specific steps as I went, so that I could pass it along. And, Ecola! (Italian equivalent to Voila!)… a tasty, filling, nutritious and affordable recipe.”

  • 2 (15 oz) cans Cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
  • 1 lb Ditalini Pasta (preferred, in a pinch, elbow macaroni will do)
  • 5 (15 oz) Cans tomato sauce
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • ¼ C very thinly sliced onion (vidalia is particularly good, if on hand)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ to 1/3 tsp salt (plus more for the water to boil)
  • 1 tsp sugar

Cook 1 lb pasta in well-salted water. Under-cook the pasta, as it will continue to cook in the sauce later. Rinse pasta in cold water (to stop cooking), drain and set aside.

Put oil in bottom of a large (6 qt) sauce pot. Heat on medium and add onion. Saute onion slices until soft and translucent but do not let them brown. Add salt, pepper and basil and saute a minute or so more. Add tomato sauce all at once (it will splatter!). Stir. Bring to a very slow simmer. Add sugar. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in drained, rinsed beans. Continue to simmer over low heat for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in pasta. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand at least 30 minutes to let flavors blend, but it’s fine to make ahead and let it sit for a few hours. The sauce will thicken as it waits. Its final consistency will resemble stew. It is served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon.


“Delicious topped with grated cheese. Makes a lovely complete meal served alongside crusty bread and a green salad.

This recipe yields about 12 cups. Which works out to about 6 hearty 2 cup portions or 8 moderate 1 ½ cup servings, depending on appetite and what it accompanies.”

Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column, we place emphasis on recipes that use long term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven and slow cooker recipes, and any that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail. Thanks!