Showing posts with label Italian American. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian American. Show all posts

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Godfather Sunday Sauce Gravy


Pete Clemenza teaches Micahel how to Make SUNDAY SAUCE


Richard Castellano as Perer Clemenza

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone

Mario Puzu - Francis Ford Coppola



The aroma of a garlic-laden tomato sauce spiked with Sausage, Meatballs, and rolled-up meat Braciola can bring tears to the eyes of many Italian-Americans.

Sunday Gravy, also known as Sunday sauce, evokes memories of weekend family gatherings in which mom or grandma presided over the constantly stirred pot of sauce and meat, and various relatives were tasked with procuring the essential provisions—the cannoli and sesame bread from the bakery or the wine from the cellar.

Sunday gravy was more than just a big, belt-loosening meal. In close-knit Italian-American homes, it was a virtual religion. “Each Sunday, we were constantly traveling to homes of different relatives,” says John Mariani, a New York food author whose books include How Italian Food Conquered the World. “It truly was a moveable feast.’’

The proprietors of Frankies Spuntino restaurant in Brooklyn, Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, write that “Sunday sauce—the meal, the menu, the way of life—is the source and summation’’ of their restaurant business.

They recall how on Sundays their family kitchens would “start to fill with that hunger-inducing humidity, the tomato and pork simmering away in the pot.’’

Castronovo remembered that Sundays “even when I was a teenager and wanted to be a punk … I’d still stop and eat at my grandma’s house before the rest of the day went down.”

The best Sunday gravy simmers on the stove for hours, permitting the ingredients (the meat choices are seemingly limitless) to infuse the sauce with an unparalleled meatiness that no quickie marinara could ever hope to replicate. The long, slow cooking time was also time for families to spend with each other, reinforcing ties that could withstand the harsh realities of the outside world.

In a way, the history of Sunday gravy encapsulates the story of Italian immigration to the U.S. and the prosperity succeeding generations found in America. “Very, very impoverished Southern Italian women, whose only reason for living was giving birth to children and feeding them, suddenly found an abundance of cheap food in the U.S.,” Mariani says. “It radically changed their self image.”

The meats in the sauce became a symbol of plenty. Meat had been a rarity in the old country, and if there was any of it at all in a meal, it was usually pork. But in the U.S., immigrant women bought beef “because they could."

Before his father’s parents would bless the marriage, Mariani’s grandmother “demanded that my mom must learn how to make Sunday gravy.”

Along with the other staples of Italian-American cuisine, Sunday gravy has vaulted from family food to the culinary mainstream, even as a once-in-a-while treat for today’s health-conscious eaters. TV food stars Rachael Ray and Giada De Laurentiis regularly feature touched-up variations on the classic Italian-American repertoire. And, although “The Sopranos” is widely despised by Italian-Americans for its twisted depiction of their cherished family values, the show often featured sumptuous Sunday meals with pots and pots of sauce, meat, and pasta—and the cookbook spawned by the show features a Sunday gravy recipe.

For better or worse, 21st-century America has made celebrating the Sunday tradition much more difficult for families. “Sunday is now a time for attending soccer games, getting in 18 holes of golf … or watching three NFL games without interruption,” Mariani says.

But Mariani and other Italian-American food advocates nevertheless remain intent on keeping tradition alive. “My family still gets together on Sunday afternoons just as it always has, and the food is as good as it ever was,” Falcinelli wrote in The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual. “Growing up, I didn’t see it as an amazing culinary tradition, but I did appreciate how good the eating was.”




Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Caffe Reggio Cappuccino Coffee


Caffe Reggio

Greenwich Village

New York

Fine Art America - Print

by Bellino






by Bellino




And More ..

Monday, August 11, 2008

Daniel Bellino Zwicke


One of the great traditions of the Italian American enclave in the U.S. is the ritual of Sunday afternoon when the entire family gets together for Mama’s or Nona’s famed “Sunday Sauce.” What is it? Well there are a number of variations on the theme. Most Sunday Sauce’s are made with Italian Sausage, Braciola, and Meatballs. Some people make theirs with pork ribs, beef neck, and possibly chicken thighs and backs. These meats are slowly simmered for several hours with tomato, minced onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. I generally like to make my Sunday Sauce with sausage, meatballs, and pork ribs. Other times I’ll make it with sausage, ribs, and braciola. An old tradition in some families is that mother or grandma would start the sauce early on a Sunday morning, get it simmering away for a couple hours on top of the stove, then put it in the oven for a couple hours while everyone goes to church, the sauce slowly simmers and when you get back home, the sauce is ready.
The Sunday Sauce that my mother would make was with sausage, meatballs and beef braciola. My memories are vivid watching my mother stuffing the braciola with garlic,
parsley, Pecorino, and pignoli nuts, then sewing up the bundles with a needle and thread so they would hold together while simmering in the gravy (many families all over the New York and around the country simply call Sunday Sauce “Gravy”). Another fond memory was helping my mother roll and shape the meatballs.
As for me, my Sunday Sauce will vary depending on my mood. One thing I love to do when making the sauce is the addition of pork spare ribs, which not to many people use, I love it.
Whenever people eat my sauce, they go nuts for the ribs and some are surprised cause they might never have had them in a sauce before. They didn’t know that you could use pork spareribs. The ribs are traditional with some but not everybody. It is quite a shame for those who don’t add the ribs because they give the sauce some wonderful flavor and they are incredibly delicious to eat after braising in the sauce for a couple of hours. Whenever I make the sauce and I’m dishing it out to friends and family, I always make sure that I have my fare share of the ribs. Pork ribs cooked in this manner, simmering in the sauce are oh so succulent and tasty. They are far beyond compare. “They are Out-of-this-World!!!” The friends, one-by-one, go nuts for them. “Yes they are most than tasty!”
And what to serve with the Sunday Sauce you ask? It should be a short macaroni; rigatoni, ziti, or gnocchi are best.
The rituals of cooking, serving, and eating Sunday Sauce is a time honored one. It is a beautiful thing. If you mention the term Sunday Sauce to any number of millions of Italian-Americans, the wheels start turning in their heads. Thoughts of how tasty it is, all the different components; the meatballs, sausages, braciola, (maybe ribs, beef or pork neck), the pasta, and the gravy itself.
They think about sitting at the table with friends and or family, people they love. They think about the antipasti that will start the meal and about some good Italian Wine, maybe a nice Chianti. They think about the warmth in the air, loved ones, Dino, Sinatra, and of course, theSunday Sauce itself. “It’s a beautiful thing!!!” If you’ve never done it, “Try it!” If you haven’t cooked one for some time, plan a get-together soon. “Sunday Sauce, it brings people together,” in a most delightful way.

"SUNDAY SAUCE" is excerpted from Daniel Bellino Zwicke's
upcoming book "La Tavola"