When someone asks me what I miss most about having a boyfriend, I respond with "Sunday dinner with all the pasta, sauce, meatballs and wine." Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that my last three boyfriends were Italian.
Perhaps not a typical response, but it's so true – I'm Greek and Jewish, and I think we have some delicious food too (spanakopita, gyros, brisket) – but there's something about pasta and a homemade tomato (or "red") sauce that's been cooking for HOURS. Fortunately, my college bestie Ange invited me over to her house in Staten Island for Sunday dinner with the fam. There are few things I would go all the way to Staten Island for, and this meal would be one of them.
Mama DePalma (as she will be referred to for this post) and Patty D (Ange's dad, not to be confused with Pauly D) made an amazing meal for us after our long, strenous day of shopping while nursing our hangovers. Nice, right? Hours spent over the stove breading, frying, sauteing, simmering and roasting. Only people who truly love food (and love other people who love food) will go through all that trouble to make a meal. These people are usually Italian. I saw Mama DePalma breading eggplant and frying it (for eggplant parm), and then searing pieces of pork in a pan before adding it to the sauce "for flavor". Drool. I break out a jar of marinara, heat it for ten minutes and call it a day usually so this was impressive to me.
The spread was ridiculous. When I say I was like a Skinny Pig in shit, I am not kidding. Eggplant parm, baked gnocchi in that delicious red sauce and cheese on top, honey-barbecue ribs, meatballs and pork, salad, prosciutto-stuffed breadsticks, and of course, the wine. The eggplant parm was amazing, and I never had baked gnocchi before, but guess what? I'm a fan. The ribs were delicious too, with the sweet and tangy glaze – it gave a nice contrast to the savory/sweet sauce and cheese. Nums. I love Italian food so, so much…buon appetito!
I don't think I have to point out that I had two plates of this, but it was THAT good. Another benefit of Sunday Italian feast? Leftovers. I said "yea I'll take a little bit of everything…" and I ended up with A LOT of everything. I got 2 tupperwares worth of food, plus bread, ribs and a packet of cheese. Amazing.
To the DePalma's – thank you SO much for this meal – it literally made my weekend! My hips and thighs will probably be upset with you, but they'll get over it. Speaking of my hips and thighs – we HAD to finish off the meal with some Italian bakery cookies and coffee…
I will be back!