WHY SUNDAY PASTA?
Italian food has always been a central part of my life. As a child, Sunday afternoons were spent at my grandparents’ homes gathering with family and friends. Everything revolved around the meal: long antipasto courses, followed by pasta and meat and vegetables. Food was the magnet that drew us all together.
And, the food was delicious. My maternal mother, Mary Ciccone, made the best ragú napoletano and meatballs I’ve ever tasted. Anywhere. She passed this legacy on to my mother, Rosemary, who taught me to cook at a young age. My father, Mario, taught me to be critical about Italian food, to seek excellence and authenticity. His proud Sicilian mother Virginia Garrubbo lived to cook and, after 60 years of the craft, could rival any chef in anything Italian, from any region, appetizer to pastry. At restaurants, all eyes were upon her as we awaited her critical judgment of the food. I am lucky to have been raised in a delightful vortex of Italian comfort food.
I met some colorful characters during those meals, from doctors and lawyers to tailors and barbers, mostly Italian immigrants. I remember the laughing and arguing—and the decibel level—like it was yesterday. More than anything, I remember these slow-paced and conversational dinners as a weekly ritual that defines what family means to me.
And so, a few years back, sparked by the death of my father, I decided that I wanted to do my small part to remind us all to “stop and smell the basil.” To me, the answer was obvious: PASTA. Why Pasta? Because pasta is the food of kings and paupers: it is affordable, versatile, and easy to prepare, and fun to share. Well prepared pasta dishes include fresh, local, seasonal vegetables, dairy, meats and seafood, which in turn support healthy eating, the environment, the community and local food sourcing. These concepts seem trendy now, but are actually the result of the 3,000 years of evolution in Italian cooking. It is all right here, right now, right under our noses! All we need to do is slow down long enough to enjoy it.
Sunday Pasta is a simple yet powerful idea: one delicious, nutritious meal per week, prepared with care and shared with those we love, will help all of us to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. In turn, it will inspire us to appreciate all the links in the chain, from plants to animals to people, who make our abundant foods available to us. So grab family and friends and start your very own Sunday Pasta tradition. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s delicious.
Editor and Publisher
About the Editor
Ed Garrubbo has been studying, cooking, searching for, and thinking and writing about La Cucina Italiana for as long as he can remember. His website and cookbook, Sunday Pasta, are popular around the world. He cooks a wide range of Italian dishes, but loves his pasta most of all. He visits restaurants, cooking schools, markets, and food artisans across Italy, and wherever Italians practice their craft. He is a citizen of both the United States and Italy, and is a member of L’Accademia Italiana della Cucina.