Getting back to my roots- Italian Food
I love Italian food, was brought up on it, I come from a large Italian family and food was the center of every celebration or holiday. My earliest memories are of my Grandfather, who spoke no English and his vineyard. It was small but adequate to produce several barrels of wine every year. The cellar of his home was where he made and stored the wine. Even though memories are somewhat vague I recall family gatherings, meals around a big dining room table with my Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, this was every Sunday. We started with a soup usually chicken with homemade noodles and escarole, then came the meat, pasta, salad and sometimes dessert, always in that order. I would watch my Mother and Aunts in the kitchen making the pasta, it was a a real labor of love by these three great cooks. My Mother is not Italian, she became an Italian by marriage and mastered the food in no time at all. Growing up we had Italian food of some sort at least 3 or 4 times a week. My Father had a vegetable garden and every year my Mother canned tomatoes and vegetables from the garden. She made home made pasta, and made her own sausage. I guess that is where I developed my love of everything home made, sometimes it’s just easier to buy prepared foods and with a busy schedule I always have pantry items for a quick meal but there is nothing like taking the time (if you can) to prepare your food from scratch. I travelled and lived in Italy for a few years and learned much about the culture and food of this beautiful country. My family is from Caserta and came to the United States via Ellis Island and settled in New York.
Next week I am going to feature a different Italian recipe every day, some will be mine but I am going to include recipes from my Mother and Aunt Dee. There will be recipes for home made pasta, my Aunt Dee’s Pasti Ciotti and several other Italian favorites. Stay tuned!!