Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tomato Sauce Quandry.

The Vasquez family has a distinct lineage from the Cafarellas...Spanish versus the family from Campagna...then there are the Cincottas and the Sangiolos. We were all island people of course, but the names might give an idea of the shading that each family might have in it's lineage. The Iberian people have an affinity for Cinnamon and Allspice with their foods...the Greeks are all about the Oregano and lemon. The Arabs like fire and spice and fruity flavors...well, what are we?
We have an incredible ethnic mix. If you have travelled in Italy, you know that there are regional differences in every common food. Tomato sauce is one of the most diverse, and in addition to it's regional variations, there will be variations depending on the meat, fish or vegetable that it is cooked to accompany or that might be mixed into it. Even the shape of the local pasta will influence the texture and ingredients in a sauce. So, to get down to the heart of this discussion, I loved my mother's sauce(I liked my step-father's sauce even better, but since he was Welsh, Scottish and French, I won't go there...suffice it to say that he learned from my mother.) We always think our mother's sauce is the best. Unless we are better than her of course. I recently invited Col. Joe and Mary Cafarella, Jennie Da Fina, Anerio(Fred, Sonny) and Flo Cincotta, my cousin Mildred and my sister for a big dinner...along with my partner John and neighbors.
I made Pasta Amatriciana...That was a real departure and taking a real chance, because it is nothing at all like an island or even a southern sauce. I love it while I fear it's heart clogging richness, but I really held my breath when they were eating it. I got no bad comments, but I wonder what they were not saying to me and how the conversation went in the car.
I guess that the only way to handle this issue is to post my sauces both from my mother and my experiences and hope that other family members will do the same.

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