As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
I absolutely love this website. I have learned so much about my Italian ancestors and what their life was like back in late 1800. My Grandmother was born in Faeto, FG, and came to the U.S. in 1897. Her mother taught her to make an Italian stuffing for ponsette (she also stuffed peppers with it). It was a firm stuffing, light yellow in color, and had raisins in it. You could slice the stuffing, along with the veal...it was sooooo delicious. I'm sure there was pecorino romano cheese in it. Would anyone have a similar recipe?
2 cups drained, boiled rice (NOT long grain).
25 g butter (unsalted)
1 medium onion, chopped
120g fresh brown breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 egg, beaten
To make the stuffing, boil the rice, drain and set aside. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan, add the onion, cover a cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft but not brown. Remove from the heat and add the rice, breadcrumbs, mint, raisins, nuts and apple. Add the grated cheese to the stuffing with the egg, mix well (using your hands) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Hope it's similar to what you remember - this is from the Milano region.