Recipe for: Spinach Pie
From the Kitchen Of: Ida
Shared by: Ida, her daughter
This recipe was requested by John, who remembered a wonderful spinach pie that Aunt Ida used to make.
Idie has written it out for us below - so everyone give it a try and enjoy!
Santomasso Family (or my version of!) Spinach Pie
NB: There are no amounts you just have to figure out how many you want to make. I would guess 1 lb of dough 4 pkg of Spinach ( see below)*.
-Dough (home made or buy dough from baker/pizza maker)
-Spinach-defrosted & drained (use chopped frozen spinach on strict orders from Aunt Theresa! I have used fresh and chopped it myself, but I defaulted to her and it's easier!)
-Anchovies (optional according to taste. Kids don't usually like it, so as kids some were made without it and I do the same ;)
-Preheat oven to 350*
-Divide dough into equal pieces to make about 4 individual pies or 2 larger ones
-Carefully squeeze water out of spinach
-Combine spinach, olives, anchovies (if using), olive oil, salt & pepper
-Flatten & stretch pizza dough into large circle
-Place spinach mixture over one half leaving enough dough for sealing edge
-Fold over into half-moon shape & pinch edges together to seal
-Lightly brush top with olive oil
-Bake on parchment or foil lined cookie sheet 30-35 minutes or until golden brown
Recipe for: Liver & Onions
From the Kitchen Of: Armand
Shared by: Bob, his son
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.
I meant to post this before the holiday, whoops! Here is Bob's version of Armand's recipe for Liver and Onions. Bob makes it every year on Thanksgiving, and I used to turn my nose up at it as a kid. Now I love it. Ciabatta bread wasn't in vogue when Armand was making this dish, I bet he used simple Italian bread, but it really adds something to this simple and delicious sandwich. Enjoy!
LIVER & ONIONS ON CIABATTA
2 small livers, chopped (Turkey/Chicken)
1 half of an onion, diced
Provolone or American Cheese
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Sauté chopped onion in butter and olive oil until brown. Add liver and sauté until medium-well done. Keep stirring so the liver doesn't get dry. While this is cooking, slice a ciabatta roll down the middle and put it in the toaster with a slice of Provolone or American cheese. Ladle the liver and onions on the toasted roll, drizzle with oil, salt, & pepper and serve. Or as Bob says "stick it in your face"!
Did anyone else enjoy this dish on Thanksgiving? Feel free to share in the comments.
Recipe for: Squash Flower Omelette
From the Kitchen Of: Armand
Shared by: John and Bob, his sons
This summer Sean and I moved to a new apartment in Astoria, one with a backyard! This, as you can imagine, is very exciting when you live in NYC. We have a few potted herbs outside, and one sort of sad looking tomato plant. I clearly don't have Armand's touch, but I'll keep trying...
In July, I opened up a spaghetti squash that was sitting on my counter, and to my surprise, the seeds had sprouted INSIDE it! They were all ready for planting. I tucked them into some soil in a small pot and set them out in the sun to see if they could thrive. They did. A squash flower would bloom almost every day for at least two weeks, leaving us with lots of pretty blossoms. We watched the bees pollinate them in the morning, and then stuffed them with goat cheese and fried them. If you have any squash blossoms to use, I highly recommend doing that. Isn't everything better fried?
I mentioned our squash blossom harvest to Bob, and he said that Armand used to make omelettes out of the many squash flowers in his garden. Interestingly enough, just a day or two later, I was emailing with John, and he mentioned the same recipe completely unprompted!
It seemed that it was time to share this simple and delicious recipe with the family. Here's the recipe in John's words;
"Simply put, it's olive oil, Yellow Squash Flowers, and Eggs.
The old man would put olive oil in a frying pan (paranthetically
I have never known Dad to ever use butter to fry eggs. Olive oil, only.)
He'd then scrambled a couple of eggs, I'm not sure whether or not
he may have put a splash of milk in with the eggs. That was
something common to do in our house, when making scrambled eggs.
Now with heated oil in the pan, scrambled eggs at hand, he'd pour
the eggs in, fold the rinsed squash flowers in, fold the concoction
together as it cooked, and viola, Squash Flowers and Eggs."
Sean and I tried it yesterday morning, and were very pleased with the result.
SQUASH FLOWER OMELETTE
3 squash blossoms
1 tbsp milk
Scramble eggs, add milk and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a pan seasoned with olive oil. Slice squash blossoms, removing the stamen, and chop coarsely. Fold in squash flowers. Serve!
Please post in the comments section if you remember eating this growing up, or if you have recently tried it!
Recipe for: Pineapple Cookies
From the Kitchen Of: Theresa
Shared by: Her nephew in law - George
Some pointers from George;
"The pursuit of pineapple cookie perfection continues. I haven't fully achieved success, but the last two batches (Batch #1 and "The Son of a Batch") showed some improvement.
The attached recipe is based on a somewhat incomplete one we acquired from Aunt Theresa.
Be liberal with the flour in order to keep the dough stiff, and I would use a little more sugar in my next batch. Watch the spacing and temp/cooking time depends on your oven."
Recipe for: Zuppa Di Sedano, Cipolle (e Fagiole) - Celery, Onion (and Bean) Soup
From the Kitchen Of: Armand
Shared by: His niece in law - Gloria
Thank you for passing this along, George and Gloria!
"Mindo taught this dish to Georgie's wife Gloria (only without the beans). Presumably, he learned it from Antonetta, his mother.
1-2 cans of cannellini beans
1-2 large onions
3 stalks celery
3 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Bread or Freselles (click for recipe)
Rough cut the onions into strips or cubes, then cut the celery into 1/4" pieces.
Sautee the garlic, onions and celery until translucent.
Add the beans and let simmer for approx. 5 min.
Serve over hard, crusty Italian bread, or toasted Italian bread, or Freselles.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Recipe for: Tomato Salad
From the Kitchen Of: Armand
Shared by: His son, Bob
A note from Bob;
I'm sure Armand would approve of variations. I fondly recall how exited he would be coming home from work in the summer, to change clothes,and plunge into his garden. Armand thoroughly enjoyed being lost among natures bounty; green beans, pole beans, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, squash, eggplant, potatoes, even pumpkins, you name it, he'd try it. Everything was so fresh, so fragrant. Sometimes the garden would yield minuscule results, other times great bounty. He wouldn't give up...even with plants! In his garden Armand showed all living things great respect...except flies, mosquitoes, cut worms, and oh yes HORNETS! (he hated hornets)
He loved all his vegetables, but particularly plum tomatoes. it brought him memories of his parents table. Yes, that's correct Grandma Antoinette served this tomato salad to the family. She was the inspiration for my Father to carry it on. Very simple, very delicious. He didn't like complicated recipes, and according to Armand, neither did Antoinette. Along with his pickled eggplant he served this tomato salad to everyone. They were his legacy items. He regularly served both to the "Gordon Five" his beloved band. He was the drummer, vocalist, and keeper of the "fake book" (sheet music). (Please note: they had SEVEN band members! I'm still trying to figure that one out!)
This was the neighborhood band (Gordon Street).They were inspired by the Beatles (kidding) They met every Wednesday night all through the year, playing outdoors during the summer.
I will cover that in the future. It's a lonnnnnng story! They had more twists and turns than the Rolling Stones.
In addition, they were also garden aficionados, and big Yankee fans. Perfect pals for Armand.
Love... and peace be with you,
Note from Tricia;
I spent many a year in my youth turning my nose up at tomatoes. Wasted years! I don't think I ever tasted Armand's version of this salad, but thankfully Bob has kept the tradition going. This simple dish is now one of my favorites.
I know that tomato season is essentially over, but Trader Joe's has wonderful boxes full of delicious heirloom tomatoes that I really like to use in this recipe. Let the salad rest for at least a few hours in the fridge (ideally overnight), and for the best flavor let it get to room temperature before serving. This stuff is so good that I sop up the tomato water after all of the tomatoes and onions are gone. You won't be disappointed!
Recipe for: Manicotti
From the Kitchen Of: Roberta by way of her mother, Olga
Shared by: Her cousin Ida
Ida mentioned to me that she can't attest to how far back this recipe goes, "but Roberta learned to cook from her mother Olga, and in turn taught me."
What I know, is that this sounds like a delicious recipe. I will definitely be making these this week - so if anyone is in the NY area, come on over for dinner!
Recipe for: Pasta Con Gli Alici
From the Kitchen Of: Armand Santomasso
Shared by: Granddaughter Tricia Santomasso
Or, as Armand used to say "Spaghetti and Alige". Essentially, spaghetti tossed with garlic, oil, and anchovy fillets. It may sound delicious to you, or it may sound repulsive, like it always did to me.
I spent a long time avoiding the stuff. When we would to over to Armand's around the holidays, he would inevitably make this. Usually around Christmas. The smell of it was potent, and fishy, and suspicious. Bob would sit there happily eating it, and I would decline with a smile, using the excuse of my youth to get out of it. Katie, a gourmand even then, would usually at least try it. She was braver than me by far.
One day I got up enough courage to try it. Armand gave me a portion that made my head spin, as I realized that if I didn't like it, out of respect for him I probably should try to choke the rest down. The dish did not disappoint. As anticipated, I found it disgusting. So disgusting that it is actually one of the only times in my life I was near to truly gagging at the table. I remember giving the pasta an obligatory chew or two, in order to get it down, and then essentially swallowing it whole to avoid the flavors from bursting forth on my poor tongue.
Years later, I went to dinner at my friend Ben's apartment. Ben is a fantastic cook. He put a plate of spaghetti in front of me and told me not to ask him what was in it. Just try it. It was delicious. I loved it. It was Spaghetti Con Gli Alici. I had grown up, and now was ready for this wonderful dish.
Now, freshly converted, I decided to make this dish for Sean (who initially, like me, was slightly suspicious). I made it according to Ben's instructions, and I was delighted! It wasn't a fluke! I actually liked, even loved, Spaghetti Con Gli Alici!
Unfortunately, the eating of this dish happened to coincide with a nasty stomach bug Sean picked up from Tiny Tim in his job at the time playing Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, and the much maligned Spaghetti Con Gli Alici left a sour taste in his mouth through no fault of it's own.
I think someday I'll make it again. And hopefully under more auspicious circumstances. Until then, it will live here on the blog, for anyone brave enough to attempt it. I don't have Armand's recipe, sadly, but Ben has been gracious enough to loan me his. And it's excellent. Thank you Ben!
BEN LASALATA'S PASTA CON GLI ALICI
1 lb of spaghetti
6 large cloves of garlic
10-12 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
5 tbsps of finely chopped parsley
Crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy less if you don't)
1 cup of reserved pasta cooking water
Black pepper to taste (salt is optional given that anchovies are so salty but its up to you)
1/2 cup of toasted bread crumbs (also optional)
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in skillet and begin to fry the garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes. It is very important that you do not let the garlic get dark so cook it slowly until that anchovy filets are dissolved. If it does get too dark just take the pan off the heat. Once the pasta is about 30 seconds away from al dente, take out the 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and add to skillet, add half of the parsley and turn up the heat. Cook all together for an additional 30 seconds to a minute. If the pasta looks a little dry add some pasta water a little at a time until it is the right consistency (like salad tossed with the right amount of dressing). Off the heat add some fresh olive oil and the remaining parsley. Serve with toasted breadcrumbs on top (optional).
Our first post for our family recipe page!
Thank you for starting us off, Doug. Doug wrote the remembrances below, and found the charming video on how to prepare the snails. I dug around on the internet to find a recipe that seems somewhat comparable, and have written it down below.
Recipe for : Italian Snails
From the kitchen of: Anna Santomasso
Shared by: Grandson, Doug Kneeland
"I found this video of Italian snails. This is similar to what my grandmother made though she cooked them and served them in a rich tasting sauce of garlic, olive oil, and other Italian spices. The fun part was we used to eat them by using safety pins to get the snail out of the shell. At one point, my grandmother said they were no longer available in the U.S. I have spoken to other people of her generation who also remember them and they confirmed that they became unavailable.
They were a holiday treat for me. My grandmother thought it was hysterical that her grandson loved them so much. So she made sure to have them for me. We had them as a first course followed by lasagna and then eventually a roast. At that age I could easily make my way through the meal but today I would just groan and feel like a bloated tick."
PERIWINKLES ALLA PALERMO
from the Cookbook "The North End Italian Cookbook" by Marguerite DiMino Buonopane.
3 pounds fresh snails
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 pint hot water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Place snails in a medium-size deep pot and cover with water. Rub salt around inside of pot above the water line to keep snails from crawling out. Soak for 30 minutes, then wash thoroughly several times in fresh water. Drain well in a plastic colander to prevent shells from cracking.
2., Using the same deep pot, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add a pint of hot water and mix well.
3. Gently add snails to sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and parsley; stir well and cover. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
5. Remove to deep bowls and serve hot with sauce. To remove meat from shells, use toothpicks or oyster forks.