We know Italian food! Growing up in Boston for a good part of my life, my second home was with my best friend’s family. You guessed correctly if you think she must be Italian. Her mom’s name was Rosetta and spoke broken English and Rosetta’s mom spoke even less. I even remember old noni, she was my best friend’s great grandmother her English was very bad however. She would shake her wooden spoon at us and tell us that if we did not learn to cook well that our husbands would beat us. We, of course, did not believe her, but now looking back I feel a bit of sadness for her and the Italian women of her generation.
We did learn to cook! We made Pizellis, Zeppole, and Ricotta Cookies.
When we mastered that and we moved on to Ravioli, Manicotti, and Zuppa
It was not until we were almost out of our teens before we learned how to make Italian Gravy with Meatballs. Gravy is tomato sauce but is layered in such a way that the flavors become more complex together. It is cooked all day long to bring it together properly.
We were so fortunate to have so many generations of Italian cooks around to teach the next generation about the love of Italian food.