Beef Stew

Serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 cups Acine de Pepe, Ditalini or other small pasta shape, uncooked
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pound lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 cup chopped onion
9 cups hot water
3 tbsp. beef-flavor instant bouillon
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp. basil leaves
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1 14.5-oz. can stewed tomatoes

In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil. Coat beef with flour. Add beef cubes and onion; cook until beef is browned. Add water, bouillon, bay leaf, basil and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Add carrots, celery and tomatoes. Cook 15 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf. Stir in pasta. Cook until pasta is tender, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.