Mangia

Growing up in an Italian-American family,5 days out of 7 we had pasta. Pasta and beans (pasta fagiole) pasta and peas (pasta piselli),pasta and lentils,pasta and meatballs..pasta pasta pasta! Even when we had steak it was smothered in sauce (steak piazziol) and simmered until it was so tender it melted in your mouth. Of course you put that on top of spaghetti.
On the days we didn’t have pasta we had regular american meals,with a twist of course. Our version of potato salad was potatoes in oil and garlic with roasted red peppers. Stuffed peppers were long frying peppers filled with a bread,egg,cheese and garlic stuffing then fried. Our vegetables were broccoli rabe, escarole mixed with cannelini beans, squash in sauce with potatoes and even tho it really isn’t all vegetables,antipasto. Tomato salad with Italian bread was a staple in our diet during the summer months being my family had a huge garden. We grew our own basil that we froze so we could use it all year round for sauce and meatballs.
If we had cauliflower it usually was made with oil and vinegar and my grandmother used to cook the flower of a squash plant by dipping in egg and frying it.
People who aren’t Italian don’t understand these weird foods but let me tell you, they may sound strange but they are delicious. I often complained when I was younger about eating this stuff but as I got older I miss a lot of those things. I find the only time I enjoy cooking is when I’m making something Italian. The house smells awesome and it brings me back to Sunday dinners with Italian music on the radio and big,flat rigatoni’s laid out in a bowl covered in sauce with a side of pork bracciole. During lent if it wasn’t pasta it was potato and eggs or peppers and eggs. On occasion we would have fish but even that was in sauce…mussels marinara, calamari marinara, shrimp parmigiana and scungeli.
Who else but an Italian could create gnocchi, which is a potato filled pasta. We are all about the carbs and don’t you ever forget it! The point I’m trying to make is, if you weren’t raised Italian with all it’s tasty goodness, your taste buds missed out!

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