Mar 4, 2009

Depression Soup

Because of my new favorite celebrity from Illinois (now in upstate NY) Clara Cannucciari and her You Tube Channel Depression Cooking I've been thinking of this recipe from when I was a kid. It's from my Mom's side of the family and found in the trusty DeCori Family Cookbook, in which the recipe is attributed to Helen DeCori and Kay Nuciforo and so my Mom says it must be a Roman recipe. Menestra Shama loosely translates (as passed down) to "mock soup" or "poor man's soup" or "depression soup" I don't know and no amount of internet searching or English to Italian internet translators can clear it up, so please, if you know someone that speaks Italian or better yet lived/s in Northern Illinois AND through the depression AND speaks Italian, please ask them for me if they have any insight to the etymology of the Shama part of Minestra Shama. So anyway, on to the recipe that taste very yummy, was one of my favorite soups as a kid and costs a total of $4.25 to make.

Tomato Paste 1.25
Ditalli Noodles 1.75
Cabbage 1.25

I assume you own olive oil or some type of oil, salt and pepper.

Minestra Shama

4 qts Water

1/2 lb Ditalli Noodles (or any noodles really)

1/2 Head of cabbage
1 8 oz Can Tomato Sauce or 1 8oz Can of Stewed Tomatoes or 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste (whatever you can afford)
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil (or vegetable oil - again whatever you can afford)

1 Tablespoon of Salt

Bring water and tomatoes to a boil, add salt, put in the sliced cabbage (long thin strips), when the cabbage is soft put noodles in and cook until tender. Pepper to taste.

My mom always made it with the tablespoon o
f tomato paste and more cabbage, less noodles and I suppose it would be good with a little Italian sausage in it as it's kind of yummy as a spicy soup, but really it's best as is with a grilled cheese sandwich.

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