Our Family is from the Campania and Lazio regions between Naples and Rome. I remember hearty pasta dishes with fresh herbs and vegetables out of their large gardens. They loved olives, thick-crusted bread, lamb dishes and we grew grapes to make homemade wine. Holiday bread, cakes, rice, and ham pies were eagerly anticipated every season too.
Back at the restaurant my mother Lucy always insisting on the freshest ingredients from the colorful local purveyors; Giavani the fish man, Pat at the produce stand, Giorgio the butcher, and Giuseppe who supplied us with imports from Italy. And of course, I remember the long hours in the restaurant both in the front and back of the house.
A favorite from our old restaurants that we do today is our Meatballs and the Manaste (greens and beans) and I’m glad we get to use a lot of the same imports we used years ago in the dishes here today.
Buon appetito. ~ Joan Cinelli