Pepperoni and String beans

January 8, 2014

Author Notes: You read that title, scratched your head, wrinkled your nose and said what?

No, this is not a joke.

This is pepperoni and string beans.

You’ve never heard of it?

I don’t think anyone outside of my dad’s family has really. It’s not an Italian dish. It’s not… well, I don’t think it’s any kind of dish.

Our guess is that my grandma had six hungry kids on her hands and only pepperoni, string beans and some tomato paste in the cabinets and she just shrugged and said, eh, why not?

Did I mention my grandma had six kids, no dishwasher and no driver’s license?

So if the kids were hungry and grandpa wasn’t home, whatever was in the house would have to become dinner. Somehow.

I’m guessing that’s how this concoction came into being.

My mom always makes this down the shore. I’ve never made it for my boyfriend before, not because I think that he’ll think it’s weird, but because I’ve never had it anywhere but down at our shore house.

Isn’t that weird?

There’s certain foods that have such a strong association with certain places that I just can’t imagine eating them anywhere else.

Serves: 4


  • 2 15 oz cans of stringbeans
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 stalk of pepperoni sliced
  • 18 ounces water
In This Recipe


  1. There is pretty much one instruction for this recipe. Dump everything in a pot, cover with a lid and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. The longer it simmers, the spicier the tomato broth gets as the pepperoni seeps into it. The next day it’s even spicier.
  3. To serve, spoon out big bowls and get some crusty bread ready for dipping.
  4. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for parties, superbowl or for leftovers

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Reviews (1) Questions (0)

1 Review

Colleen D. July 13, 2014
Believe it or not, my (very Italian) grandmother also made this dish! Same exact thing. I, too, have never met anyone else familiar with it! But I've been thinking about it lately, and I think it's time I whip up a batch and introduce my husband to this weirdly delicious (or deliciously weird?) concoction! Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone! LOL