• ½ cup olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup dry oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound dry ditalini, mezzaluna pasta, or mini ravioli (a family favorite)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Serves: 6

In a large saucepan, sauté oil and garlic over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the potatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper, and continue to sauté for 5-7 minutes.

In another large saucepan, place the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, bay leaf, 2 tablespoons salt, and a pinch of pepper, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Add the potato mixture and 3 cups of water, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package instructions. As your pasta is cooking, add the heavy cream to the tomato and potato mixture. (The potatoes should be soft, but not falling apart.) Add additional salt to taste. Drain the pasta well and add to the tomato and potato mixture. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the cheese.

Excerpt from Italian Moms: Something Old, Something New by Elisa Constantini with Frank Constantini. Copyright © 2017 by Elisa Constantini with Frank Constantini. Used with permission by Sterling Epicure. All rights reserved.

Potato-Parsnip Soup with Grilled Cheese and Pears