"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Italian Cuisine #Bloggers Around the World #Weekly Menu Plan

Yum
Italian Cuisine


My heritage on both sides of my family is Italian. My mother's family is from Naples and Bari. My father's family is from a mountain town in Calabria. When you talk to other people with Italian backgrounds you don't talk about being Italian; you talk about the region your family is from...my family is Neapolitan and Puglian. My father's family are Calabriese or Capatostas (thick head, stubborn) in Italian dialect.

You see, Italy wasn't a unified country until around 1870 and even then travel, especially in the undeveloped South, was very hard. Every area practically spoke another language. I remember visiting Venice in 1979 and the dialect sounded Germanic. 

It is only now with unified media that Italians all pretty much speak the same.. but their cooking well it differs greatly by region. The North uses butter, polenta, and vegetables like fennel. We were never allowed to eat pasta with butter when I was a kid. "Southern Italians don't do that." my mother would say. "Polenta... that's Northern!"

Italian-American cuisine is based on Southern Italian cooking which is rich in RED sauce. I have to say by the time I was ready to go away to college, I was ready for a break from red sauce. But the classic Italian-American dishes are wonderful:


Stuffed Shells
Stuffed Shells

Eggplant Parmesan
Poor Man's Lasagna
&
Meat Lasagna 

Not until the 1980's did authentic Italian cooking really start to take off in the United States. Until this time we all were clinging to our comforting Italian-American cuisine which is based mostly on canned tomatoes, garlic and oregano because the fresh aromatic herbs of Italy: basil, parsley, etc. were not readily available on the East Coast of the United States were most of the Italian American population can be found. Now people don't blink over dishes like:

Fried Goat Cheese Beet & Lentil Salad

Giambotta: Italian Summer Stew
Brushetta : Tomato Salad
Brushetta : Tomato Salad



I hope you have enjoyed your trip to Italy. If you would like to stay a little longer it's OK. When the food and the wine are good there is always...

domani...tomorrow.


On June 13th be sure to visit Cooking Around the World to see what my fellow travelers are cooking up from Italy. 

Bloggers Around the World Link
Bloggers Around the World Link

MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THIS GIVEAWAY I AM INVOLVED WITH: 

snap it or bake it giveaway

Weekly Menu Plan:


Sunday: Sushi out

Meatless Monday: Black Beans (w/ red onion, cilantro & lime) Wild Rice and Avocado

Tuesday: Chicken Soup with Quinoa

Wednesday: Falafel with Pita, Tomato, Yogurt/Tahini Dressing, and Red Onions

Thursday: Poached Salmon with a Dill Sauce, New Potatoes boiled with Butter and Kale


Saturday: Pork Ragu with Pappardelle & Green Salad


This post is shared on the following great food/craft parties be sure to visit:


Tuesday Food:


Wednesday Food:

Thursday Food:




Friday Food:





Enhanced by Zemanta

24 comments:

  1. Love the fried goat cheese, goat cheese is a favorite in my house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my favorites I hope you try this salad the beets and the lentils make it a texture lovers heaven.

      Delete
  2. Very nice post and great round-up of dishes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Winnie there are even a few in there for you. The goat cheese salad has your name on it and the summer stew without meat too.

      Delete
  3. I love Italian food! It is morning here and I am having my first cup of coffee, but I would love a bite or two from each of those dishes!

    Cynthia at http://FeedingBig.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure I can hand red sauce before lunch, but hey plenty of people like pizza for breakfast.

      Delete
  4. Those all look so good...but fried goat cheese?! HELLO!!!
    Visiting from Flour Me With Love. :-)

    ~Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you Stacy... it is hard to have it make it on to the salad. I want to gobble it up as I frie it.

      Delete
  5. Your menu this week sounds delicious! I always love it when you share a little of your Italian background. Learning about different countries is so fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll listen about Italy even from a thick head like me, LOL! Thanks Adelina.

      Delete
  6. I think all these things together would make a proper meal. Of course you would still need some fruits for the dulce part and a grappa and an espresso. Thank you very much for joining us with this delicious overview.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mmmmm.... love the eggplant! Delicious menu.

    Thanks for linking up with us this week at BeBetsy BRAG ABOUT IT Tuesday Link and Hop.

    We'd love it if you link back to BeBetsy at the bottom of your post. http://bebetsy.com

    See you next week!
    Sharon and Denise

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ymmmm I just love your Italian recipes, I don't know what one I will try first. Once the garden starts producing your Italian Summer Stew is a must try for sure. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Summer stew is excellent when you have a lot of fresh garden stuff that needs to be cooked up.

      Delete
  9. Diane,
    My husband's family makes the Giambotta but my family makes Cucuzzelli which is a Zucchini Stew. My family makes something similar to polenta that's called frattacc.
    These are lovely recipes.
    Annamaria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom's side make the zucchini stew I forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me I'll have to ask her for the recipe.

      Delete
  10. They all look delicious! I love Italian food. I have even asked my mom several times why she couldn't have married someone that was Italian so we would have a fun food heritage :) British, pretty boring in my eyes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband's background is mostly English too... yeah, other than beef wellington it's not the most exciting cuisine. Fish n chips is pretty good...

      Delete
  11. I enjoyed learning more about your Italian heritage, Diane, as well as the food you grew up with. This is a lovely collection of recipes. I especially like your Eggplant Parmesan - I've pinned it, and this post, to the Hearth and Soul Recipes board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love hearing stories about your family... very different backgrounds. Eggplant parmesan is one of my favor recipes it is great hot or cold and I love bringing it to picnics.

      Delete
  12. My family loves Italian food! I saved two of your recipes to try; Poor Man's Lasagna and the Italian Summer Stew. They all look delicious, though :) Hopped over after seeing you featured on Clever Chicks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much... I'm sure you will enjoy both of them. My family has been making these recipes forever.

      Delete
  13. Hi Diane,
    I want to come to your house, it all looks delicious! Thank you so much for sharing these great recipes with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a fabulous week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete