This recipe comes from my old church in Ohio's cookbook. It was entered by my former Pastor's Italian mom. I never made it before, but we really enjoyed it. The only change I will make next time is to cut the recipe in half. This made a very large pot that my family of four could not even put a dent into.
1# northern or navy beans (I used navy)
1# of ditalini pasta (most stores carry this kind)
1 c diced ham
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
29 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
In a large pot, cook beans according to package directions (plan ahead because dried beans take some time to cook). After beans are cooked, add ham. When you are about 45 minutes away from beans begin cooked you can start the next step. In another pan, saute onions, garlic, tamato paste & crushed tomatoes. Add 1 can of water from paste & 1 can of water from crushed tomatoes. Add seasoning & let cook down about 45 minutes. Now add the sauce into the large pot of beans. Cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. After 30 minutes have passed, cook pasta until it's about half done. Drain half of the water & mix all into the large pot. Cook additional 15 minutes.
Instead of cutting the recipe in half, freeze half! You can leave out the pasta until you are ready to serve it.