Grandma's Conchiglie and Piselli Italian Zuppa Recipe

Saturday, January 14, 2012

This is Italian Style Peas and Baby Shell Pasta, growing up this was another meal that was referred to as "depression day food". Economical fed allot of us and today it's to be a rare find on any menu. This meal continues to adorn our tables no matter what time period was in as long as I am alive. I will always remember the aroma of that garlic sauteed in oil coming home from school. Grandma lived with us, she made everything taste like it was a banquet feast.. this one takes no back seat. Now a must make during the cool chilly months, we will long live in her memory with this great recipe.

Thanks, Grandma Victoria we love this one and miss your special love that went into every pot!

She was 92 here, my nieces Alicia, Pamela and Mary there to help celebrate in 1978.

This here was her last birthday photo R.I.P.

Thank goodness for modern day cooking! I know she wished to have a food processor in hand!

Happy cooking!

Peas and Pasta:

Place in a food processor (they didn't have them back then so everything was chopped fine by hand)

3 cloves of cleaned garlic

1/2 cup fresh celery leaves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Puree till a fine mixture.

In a large deep saucepan, add the oil mixture on low heat, saute for 1 minute, next add:

2 (14 to 15 oz size) cans of pea's, saute peas till starting to brown.


1/2 teaspoon each fresh if possible but dried is fine, parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano

1 small can of tomato paste then fill can with white wine to stir out the leftover paste

1 can of chicken broth

1 cup water

2 cups of fresh chopped whole tomatoes or fresh plum tomatoes pureed in food processor

Cook until sauce thickens around 1 1/2 hours on a simmerlow.

Baby shell pasta:

Add a 1 lb box of baby shell pasta to a pot of salted boiling water. Boil till desired doneness we like it al dente with a little bite to it.

Add the pasta to the sauce mix, serve with grated cheese and fresh basil on top.


  1. This is a great way to get peas in the diet! I would have never thought of putting them into an italian dish. Perhaps that is why Grandma Victoria lived such a long life-squeezing in healthy ingredients to hearty dishes like this. Claudia-you have such a rich heritage! I am glad that you have retained so many treasured recipes like this and shared them with us. Enjoy the weekend. XOXO

  2. Grandmothers' recipes never disappoint. This soup sound delicious. Bye bye, have a good week end

  3. It's interesting to me that now - the depression day diet is one of my favorite ways to eat. Not just economical but so comforting. Grandma knew best. Love the photos - especially the bonnets - remember bonnets?

  4. This is good comfort food and good on the budget also. Grandma's are the best and I'm glad this dish has wonderful memories for you!

  5. You are so lucky to have so many treasured family recipes! Thanks for sharing one of your grandma's best!

  6. This looks like a fantastic dish - I find peas to be not used to their full potential in many American dishes.
    Your grandma sounds like a wonderful lady, and it's really amazing how many recipes your family seems to have kept over generations. I wish I had as many!

  7. Amazing! Both the grandma and the recipe. She must have been a very special person to still inspire you over 30 years after she passed away.

  8. What a wonderful sentimental post, Your grandma was an exceptional person and so is this dish. I love peas anyway but I also liked the photos.

  9. Peas and pasta - such a comfort! Looking at your grandma reminds me so much of my own - I see such similarities!

  10. Peas and pasta, or peas and rice, have always been the ultimate comfort dish of all times!
    So nice, that you have so many treasured memories of your family!
    Grandmothers are so special...and never, ever, forgotten!
    Love your yummy pasta dish:DDD

  11. Dear Claudia, Wonderful dish. I enjoyed this often as a little girl. Adorable photo of you. It is wonderful how memories warm our kitchens. Blessings my dear. Catherine xo

  12. This classic is one never to be forgotten! These photos are simply lovely.

  13. I love these handed down recipes that are tried-and-true and laced with love. It looks absolutely delicious.


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