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 know it is not the same thing, but on a recent program chef Lidia Bastianich prepared "Cavatappi al forno" (think Baked Ziti) with the surprising addition of six hard-boiled and sliced eggs layered into the pan. Seemed a bit strange to me.
I've seen the recipe done on TV and have made it a few times since, except I add onion, garlic, basil, and parsley to the sauce. The cook called them "uova in purgatorio" -- eggs in purgatory. I have no idea where that name came from. I believe it is similar to the Mexican dish called "huevos rancheros".
PS: My mother's family is calabrese (Malvito, Cosenza); my father's family hails from Roccasecca in Frosinone (previously Caserta).
Do you pan fry meatballs before putting them into the sauce? My mother used to do so occasionally to please my father, who preferred them that way. As for me, I don't care for the "crust" and much rather have them dropped into the sauce raw and let them cook that way.
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I brown my meatballs lightly then finish them in the oven. Add them to the sauce later. Since I "put up" my basic sauce, either to the freezer or canned, I add the other stuff later depending on what I am making. I do make up a 22 qt. batch so there is plenty.
Some of my sauces I add other spices and ingredients.
For my "Sunday" sauce will add sausages, meatballs, etc. When we used to have pheasant or some other game that would be added as well. It all depends.
Dam this is making me hungary!
Researching: RESCIGNO, CATALANO, LA MAGRA, ANGRISANO, CALABRESE, PAGANO, GAGLIO, DE ANGELIS,COSTABILE Campania-Napoli/Salerno/Palermo, Italy and Tunisia Africa