12.24.2008

Vigilia di Natale '08

It's Christmas Eve and I'm home for the holidays. Although my father is 100 percent Italian, the authentic Italian traditions that most families have, have faded into the past. But that's something I'm hoping to change.
I've always had a sense of pride about my Italian heritage, which seems strange with a lack of traditions, right? Well, I had a great uncle, my uncle Frank, who was my first real exposure to the Italian language, homegrown food, pasta e fagioli, and the following life lessons: (1) Don't ever tell anyone how much money you have and (2) Be careful of road rage. The man was frugal: he'd use the same napkin over an over again, would travel 20 extra miles just to save a penny and the man practically grew everything he ate--his entire backyard was a flourishing garden. He passed years ago leaving me with priceless family values and my most prized possession: a record player that included records of Frank Sinatra, Italian Disco, Italian Gold and many other audible treasures. For the past few years I've pushed for a Christmas Eve that is full of wine and sauce making like most Italian homes are on this night (although if we were really doing it right, we'd have a fish dinner, but we've got to start someplace). So I've documented the making of the sauce. It's a lengthy process but well worth it...

The Italian Rue: Olive oil, garlic, oregano, onions, salt, pepper, sweet basil and tomato paste.

Sauce needs TLC.


Some diced tomato, more oregano, garlic powder...


And then the addition of the meat. First are the pork chops.
Some fresh parsley....
And then the making of meatballs, browning of sausage, pounding and browning of braciole, 1/3 cup of red wine, more spices, some sugar...

Mmmmmmm....

Simmer, simmer, simmer.

We won't be eating sauce tonight, the eve is just for the creating of the sauce. Tomorrow we shall feast on a dinner of pasta and some darn good, homemade Italian sauce. Oh, and lots of vino. I think I'll have another glass as a night cap--gosh I love being Italian.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Now that I know the beauty of sauce making, I want to do it again. It's a lot more involved than I thought, but very gratifying!
So delicious...