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.
Sorry, I know this is a little off-topic, but has anyone ever heard of putting raisins in meatballs? My mother said her g-great grandmother did this. It sounded weird to me, but she said it's really good.
johnnyonthespot wrote:I have to add my understanding that serving meatballs with pasta is probably an American invention.
Meatballs, or polpette, are generally found in southern Italy where they are served as a main course or in a soup.
You were right.
In fact I know what meatballs are, a popular dish because it's usually made with leftovers, so there is a variation of meatballs in every region of Italy, what I was trying to understand (an anthropological question maybe?:-) ) is the evolution of the dish til he final combination with the pasta.
When I make my sauce I always put sausage, meat and meatballs or my husband won't eat it! Lamb is also a favourite - I also fry my meat first (except the meatballs), add my onion and garlic and add the sauce.
As for eggs in baked ziti - I always put them in to (and my kids hate eggs) but I cut them up so small that you don't really notice them.
This is definitely the time of year to be talking about tomatoes. All over Italy at the beginning of August, the women forgo being on the beach at 8:00 AM in order to put up tomatoes in their kitchens. They buy them for 69 centessimi per kilo (about 2-1/2 pounds). They use the same jars every year and just buy new lids. The procedure is really easy. Cut the tomatoes in quarters, and put them in a big pot. Add a little salt and fresh basilico. Squish them with your hands to make some liquid so they don't burn. Then cook them until boiling. Have your jars, lids and a cardboard box ready. Fill the jars quickly while tomatoes are still at boil and put the lid on immediately and tight. Then put the jar in the cardboard box and cover it up with a wool blanket to keep it warm. You have to work fast. If the tomatoes cool off, they will spoil. After the box is filled up with jars, make sure it's covered well with the wool blanket. After a few hours, you will start to hear a "ping" as each jar cools off and forms a seal. Tomatoes preserved this way will be good for about two years. Any jar that doesn't get a good seal will explode and you will have tomatoes on your ceiling. But I never had a jar expload because I work really fast. I look forward to this project every year. Never did it before I moved back to the old country and the women taught me their method.
We have been making our own tomato sauce since as long as I can remember - the only difference is once we put them in the jars we boil them again in a large barrel outside. I have had a few jars break over the years but only the odd one.
My grandmother who was born in the US shortly after her parents arrived in the US always served pasta, but not at the same time as things like meatballs. The meat was actually served as a course in the meal after the pasta. Once the pasta was done she'd serve meatballs, sausages, and braciola, usually with bread to sop up any remaining gravy.
It wasn't really until my generation that my family started serving the meat at the same time as the pasta, and my grandmother and mother still would eat theirs after the pasta.
Researching surnames Dogali, Vertucci, Perrella and DiGennaro
In Italy, the one kind of pasta where you can fin meatballs in, is "lasagna". For those who don't know it, it is made of slices of pasta with (in the middle of slices) tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmigiano. We often put in it peas and little fried meatballs. Then, it is cooked in an oven. This is typically done at Carnival.
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi
Certificate requests and genealogical researches in Italy. Translation of your (old) documents and letters. Legal assistance in Italy for your Italian citizenship.
Hey guys, I managed to track down a UK version of "il cucchiaio d'argento" "The silver spoon" a wonderful recipe book with so many known and less well know dishes from italy. Its like all the recipes you wish your Nonna had told you but didn't. I am especially delighted as it had the recipe for "Arancini" fron Sicily....buonissimo!
La prima ricetta con salsa di pomodoro è napoletana, la mozzarella di bufala conosciuto in tutto il mondo non è di Torino, ecc, ecc, ecc.
Se volete conoscere la cucina napoletana fatevi invitare a casa da un napoletano.Preparatevi ad una maratona alimentare di una decina di piatti. Un percorso nella storia della migliore cucina del mondo un viaggio che non dimenticherete più.