Tommy and I were dating when I was 14. My fondest memory associated with this time is visiting his Italian mom. Their home always smelled from something delicious like; garlic, tomato sauce, soups, and espresso. One day, I decided to make minestrone! Back then, I didn't know very much about cooking. The next time we visited her I proudly announced that I made minestrone! Smiling, she asked me how I made it. I naively said, “From a can!” Her smile dropped and she didn’t say a word. Ouch! If only she could see this recipe and try a bowl, I'm sure that she would be molto felice (very happy).