recipes: Mary

  • Antipasto
    We were very proud when Mom would make one of her colorful antipasti for church gatherings, but we loved to have them at home, all to ourselves. Mom had learned to make this dish when she married Dad. The antipasto is the first, or appetizer, course in Italian cuisine. The course begins the meal by introducing a variety of tastes, awakening the palate to what will follow. In Italy, the contents of the antipasto vary from season to season, depending on what is available, and the course is often served buffet-style, with many separate offerings. In Roseto, Pennsylvania, the plated antipasto often includes garden vegetables canned throughout the year, and the hostess served the antipasto with drinks while dinner was cooking. Either way, it's easy to do and doesn't involve any cooking. It's perfect if you're hosting guests for cocktails before dinner out. romaine lettucewhite albacore tunaroasted red pepperspepperoncini peppersFresh Italian parsleyhard-boiled eggsanchoviesblack olivesgreen olivesGenoa salamiprosciuttoartichoke heartsmushroomsCheddar cheeseMonterey Jack cheeseolive oil
  • Arrabbiata Sauce
    For parties and special occasions we'd veer away from the basic marinara sauce and do something different, like an arrabbiata sauce. This spicy version of the basic marinara sauce can add a lot of interest to pasta. (Arrabiata means angry in the case of a person, and in the case of a dog, mad.) We think that Dad liked to make the arrabbiata sauce just so he could ask Checka if she was arrabbiata. Of course, it's now Checka who wears the mantle of best arrabbiata sauce maker in the clan. olive oilgarlicsmall onionsmall hot pepperBasic Tomato Saucesaltfreshly ground black pepperItalian parsleyParmigiano-Reggiano
  • Basic Tomato Sauce
    The secret of our sauce is to let it cook its way to a depth of flavor possible only with meatballs simmering in the pot. If you can make some time to prepare our basic sauce ahead of time, even freezing it, it's amazing how you can turn a weekday into the real Italian thing. You can get the sauce started in a large pot while you make the meatballs. Grandmom liked to sauté her meatballs before placing them in the pot; Mom just put them right in without frying. tomatoestomato pastewatergarlic saltfreshly ground black pepperolive oilItalian seasoningpork bonesalt
  • Checka's Alternative Recipe for a Quick Arrabbiata Sauce
    small onionolive oilBasic Tomato Saucehot sauceItalian seasoning
  • Dad's Steak and Onions
    large sweet onionsgarlicbacon stripsolive oiltomato puréebeef stockbeef steaksfresh white mushroomsartichoke heartsred winesaltfreshly ground black pepper
  • Grandmom Trigiani's Baked Zucchini
    medium oniongarlicolive oilzucchiniParmigiano-Reggianoeggsfresh Italian parsley
  • Grandmom Trigiani's Green Beans in Tomato Sauce
    Grandmom Trigiani would do a great turn with the equally humble green bean. She glamorized it with the Basic Tomato Sauce. fresh green beansolive oilBasic Tomato Saucesaltfreshly ground black pepper
  • Grandmom Trigiani's Tuna and Tomato (Tonno e Pomodoro) Sauce
    Another sauce that Grandmom Trigiani liked to make was her Tuna and Tomato Sauce, a variation that embellishes the shway-shway sauce. She generally made this on Fridays during Lent. olive oilalbacore tunacrushed tomatoesfresh Italian parsleychopped fresh basilsaltfreshly ground black pepperpasta
  • Grandmom's Ham and Butter Sandwiches
    One of our favorite road snacks was the ham and butter sandwich. While Grandmom Trigiani generally preferred more Italian-style ham, she was an equal opportunity ham buyer. And, she always had ham, in some variety, in her refrigerator. One could never go hungry if there was ham, bread, and butter in the house. sweet cream butterItalian breadham
  • Grandmom's Venetian Eggs
    One summer, I decided I wanted a little more cash than what Viola would dole out for us to put in the Sunday-morning collection plate, so that's when I took a job at the Mount Bethel Inn. I'd often get home late, and Grandmom would whip up a delicious quick meal. What I came to call Venetian Eggs was my favorite. balsamic vinegarfresh lemon juicesaltfreshly ground black pepperBasic Tomato Sauceeggsfresh arugulababy spinach
  • Oranges with Cracked Pepper
    If Grandmom Trigiani could find blood oranges, it was a safe bet that you would be treated to the Roseta tradition of sliced oranges as prepared here. But regular oranges work just fine. And sometimes she would top them, Roseta style, with black olives for extra pizzazz. blood orangesolive oilfreshly ground black pepperblack olives