“…When you’re here, you’re family…”
Barf. Gag. I’ll pass on the “authentic” italian food.
I know there’s a ton of you out there who favor the endless soup, salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden, but I’m sorry, I do not.
If I must eat there, it’s usually by force. I order several green teas to mask my hatred of the frozen and extremely bland cuisine…and it doesn’t take me long to respond to “would you like to see a dessert menu?”…Sorry, NO!
The one thing that irks me about Olive Garden and other Italian chains like it is that it claims it’s authentic, but in actuality it’s just some mass produced recipe that existed in the back of Monsanto’s minds at some point in time.
No, this post isn’t another tirade about GMOs and how I’m going to burn all my bras or something until something is done about it…although that would make for some excellent photography, wouldn’t it?
I just simply would like to state my utter disdain for Olive Garden and others within the same category.
Olive Garden is under attack because half of my heritage hails from the good ole boot-shaped country of Italy…well, Sicily to be more specific.
That being said, the bar for my italian food is set higher than that new airplane that can travel to space and back…so basically, you lose no matter how authentic you claim to be.
I decided to take a stab at making some homemade soup myself. It’s actually an authentic recipe with simple, pronounceable ingredients. On most Italian menus you’ll find it spelled out like this: “pasta e fagioli” but in Sicily slang it’s Pasta Fazool. So gangsta, right?
- 1/2 bag of brown rice pasta
- 1 can tomato sauce (not a flavored one…just plain)
- 4 diced cloves of garlic
- 1/2 diced yellow onion
- 1 can of cannellini beans
- few tbsp. of olive oil to coat pan
- pecorino romano grated cheese
- 2 tbsp. basil leaves + more for topping (fresh basil preferably)
- 1 cup water
- sugar to taste
1. Heat up olive oil in pan on low with onions and garlic. Add in a little bit of basil, but not all.
2. Once that seems cooking, pour in one can of tomato sauce. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Stir.
3. Add some water to cut the tart taste of the tomato sauce. Add in as much sugar as you’d like if you want a sweeter sauce. Add in can of beans. (Also, add in some of the liquid within the can of beans to give the soup some extra flavor.)
4. While that’s cooking, heat water for your pasta.
5. Pour pasta in. Stir the sauce pot while you check on your pasta.
6. Add in some more basil if desired.
7. Once pasta is almost done cooking, strain and add into sauce pot with everything else. You don’t want to overcook the pasta so make sure you don’t cook it aldente before adding it into the sauce.
8. Stir everything together.
9. Pour into bowls and serve with fresh basil and some grated cheese.
*This soup freezes particularly well.
*Keep a watchful eye during all stages of cooking. It’s very easy to burn the ingredients and the smell of burnt tomato sauce isn’t the most pleasant. (or easiest to scrub out!)
*You can also add in kidney beans or whatever kinds of beans you like. My standard is usually cannellini because that’s how I have always made this recipe.
*This is a fusion of my best friend Nicole and my Grandmother’s recipes! 🙂
What’s your take on authentic food? Are you a picky restaurant eater like I am?
Peace, love and homemade!