Sunday, January 28, 2007

don't read this story if you're hungry

dang, i'm HUNGRY

and there was NOTHING like sunday dinner at noni's house. i'm not just saying this, my non COULD cook. she taught me too. when i was a mere grrrl.

i remember her teaching me how to make ravioli. the flour was on the table and she made a well in it. i asked her how much liquid to put in. she gently took my hand, put it in the well and said, 'this much'. to this day, i cannot use a recipe all the way through. i love recipes and cookbooks. i have a ton. i do use them for inspiration, but i simply cannot follow one EXACTLY. i don't even own a measuring cup (or spoons). the best utensils you own are at the end of your wrists

Celebrating the last of the Marchegians


Connecticut Post
To the uninitiated, macaroni with Marchegian sauce might look like just another side dish at an Italian restaurant. But there is no mistaking this signature dish of the Valley once you take a bite.
The most passionate devotees speak about the best Marchegian sauce they have ever had with a mixture of reverence and regret. Reverence because it was knee-bucklingly good. Regret because they will never taste it again. Leo Moscato Jr., a lifelong Derby resident and local chef who makes his own version of the sauce in his commercial kitchen — Culinary Arts Studio 275 — gets that feeling when describing his experience of eating it at the Adriatic Marchegian Club in the 1970s.
"If I had a vat of it I would swim in it," Moscato said, ruefully adding that only one cook from that era remains alive. "When she dies, that is the end of the Marchegian sauce." The Marchegian (pronounced mark-a-john) cooking style found in Derby, Ansonia and Shelton was developed at the turn of the 20th century by women who left lives of rural poverty in Le Marche, the north-central Italian region from which they derive their name. Disputes arise in the Valley about whether the quality of the sauce, and Marchegian cooking in general, is in decline. Moscato's claim notwithstanding, Marchegian sauce is still made according to the old ways here. It's made in the Italian clubs and can be found on the menus of several bars and restaurants, which often do a brisk side business selling quarts to go.........

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