Eating Italian

 

Pasta w BRACIOLE

 

These are my memories of a lifelong love of Italian Food. From my first bowl of pasta and the food of my youth, as a young adult, and into later-life. The food, ever changing, making new discoveries, learning all the time through experiences, reading, travel, and what-not. As I grew up and ate the food that my mother made, the Italian dishes she made us became part of my life and ethnic background of being Italian-American. My mom Lucia Bellino was a 1st Generation Italian-American whose parents both came from Lercara Friddi, Sicily and immigrated to New York in the year 1904 before moving to the very Sicilian town of Lodi, New Jersey where my grandfather Philipo set up a shoe-maker shop on Main Street. So I grew up eating the food my mother made us on a daily basis, along with the fabulous food of my three aunts; Aunt Fran, Aunt Helen, and Aunt Wanda who were the spouses of my mother’s three brothers James, Tony, and Frank. My aunts were all amazing cooks and I always looked forward to visiting them at there homes, especially on Sundays when the whole family, aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather at Aunt Fran’s or Uncle Jimmy’s for a great big Sunday meal. A meal that started with antipasti, then pasta and a main course, and a marathon dessert and coffee course that lasted for hours. Yes these meals were always quite special as my aunts were some of the greatest cooks of Italian home-cooked food that I have ever known, and they made some of the same dishes as my mother, but the special treat were the dishes that my aunts made that were different from my mom’s, and of course oh so tasty. So I waited in wonderment to see what they had made. You see my mothers parents were from Sicily so my mom made dishes her mother taught to her. My Aunt Helen was from Salerno, not far from Naples so she made dishes from that region, and my Aunt Fran’s family were from Settefrati north of Rome, which some of Aunt Fran’s cooking would reflect the food of that region. You see Aunt Fran was my Uncle Tony’s wife and Aunt Helen was my Uncle Frank’s, thus our family repertoire was of Sicily, Lazio, and Campania the regions interlocked in our family through marriage and what-not. Yes the family meals were a never-ending memory of all of the so many fabulous family meals shared with my dear aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends and loved ones.

   So my first memories of Italian food eating with my family, meals at home or at one of my aunts or uncles homes. We’d go out to eat every now and then at one of the families favorite local restaurants where I have my first memories of eating out in Italian Restaurants before setting out on my own as a young adult and then as a full grown man, eating in the best Italian Restaurants, Pastry Shops, Pork Stores, and Pizzerias in New York. And after New York, it was on to Italy; to Rome, Venice, Florence and other parts of Tuscan, Napoli, Capri, Positano, the Amalfi Coast, and at friends vineyards in Tuscany, Piedmont, the Veneto, and Sicily. Now we’re learning a whole other thing, Italian Food at its source, all over Italy, delving into the various regional cuisines of Italy, eating the local food and drinking the local wine, there’s nothing better. And all the beauty of Italy, of cities like Rome, Venice, Napoli, and Verona, and towns like Portofino, Positano, Amalfi, or Minori. Observing and immersing into the local customs and culture, it’s quite a learning experience, and one everyone should undertake if fortunate enough to get the chance, I’m so happy I did.

   And I didn’t just eat and travel throughout Italy to learn of it’s great cuisine. I read all I could get my hands on of Italy and its food. I read every magazine and newspaper article I could find, and bought a hundred Italian cookbooks or more.

   This was and still is a never ending journey that’s wonderfully rewarding. I’ve made so many discoveries big and small, and surprising as well. I ate, I savored, I enjoyed and I still am, eating and recalling Italian Food, one dish at a time.

 

Excerpted from MANGIA ITALIANO – Memories of Italian Food

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

2017

 

MANGIA ITALIANO

MEMORIES of ITALIAN FOOD

STORIES & RECIPES

 

Inside JOHN’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

East 12th Street NEW YORK NY

SINCE 1908

“And it’s STill OPEN !”

 

 

 

 

 

The Publication of Grandma Bellino ‘s Italian Cookbook

Publication of GRANDMA BELLINO ‘S ITALIAN COOKBOOK

RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN GRANDMOTHER

mrnewyorkny_grandma

Available on Amazon Kindle .. Available in paperback July 31, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hello! I am pleased to announce the publication of my latest book, Grandma Bellino’s Italian Cookbook  –  Recipes From My Sicilian Grandmother ..  It is now out and available on Amazon Kindle, and will be available next week in Paperback , publication Friday July 31, 2015  .. It’s been a labor of love to get this one out. Well, they’re (my books) all a labor of love, and this one is no exception. The book is comprised of recipes from my Sicilian Grandmother Giuseppina Bellino who left Lercara Friddi Sicily with her husband Philipo (my maternal Grandfather) in 1904 for the shores of New York and a new a better life in America .. My maternal grandparents Philipo and Giuseppina settled in in the Yorkville section of Manhattan and lived and worked there for a few years before moving to the Italian enclave of Lodi, New Jersey where my grandfather Philipo set up a shoemaker shop on Main Street in Lodi .. My grandfather worked hard and he and his wife Giuseppina had five children; my mother Lucia, her sister Lilly, and their three brothers Frank, Tony, and James .. My grandfather worked hard, but never made much money .. Often times their low earnings reflected in the family meals which where heavy on Soups and Pasta, and not all that much meat or fish on its own, never-the-less the Bellino’s had a good healthy life .. My grandmother had wonderful recipes from back in Lercara Friddi, and she made friends in Lodi with women who came from Abruzzo, Napoli, Lazio, and Calabria and had regional recipes of their own. The ladies became friends and talked about and swapped the local recipes, so although this book is made mostly of Sicilian recipes from Giuseppina, there are Neapolitan recipes and one from Calabria, and Abruzzo as well. There are also recipes from Giuseppina’s offspring and grandchildren like myself, my cousin Tony and my sister Barbara. The dishes and recipes in this book are filled and come from love, and do hope that people will cook and enjoy this eclectic collection of Sicilian and other italian recipes, some that are popular and well known, along with others that are rarer and less well know, yet wonderful never-the-less. I sincerely hope you all enjoy Grandma Bellino’s Italian (Sicilian) Cookbook, the stories and recipes within.

Daniel

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The BELLINO ‘S

Fillipo, Lucia, Tony, Giuseppina 

My mother’s sister Lilly and Brothers James

and Frank are not in this picture.

Lodi, New Jersey

1941

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SUNDAY SAUCE 

WHEN ITALIAN-AMERICANS COOK

by Daniel Bellino – Zwicke

 

 

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My Nonno

Fillipo Bellino

about 1900

 

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The COUNTRYSIDE

Outside Lercara Friddi

 

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The DUOMO

SANTA MARIA d’ NEVE

 

 

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The DUOMO

SANTA MARIA d’ NEVE

LERCARA FRIDDI

 

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Friends at Cafe Glamor

Lercara Friddi

 

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Un CANNOLO

At a Bakery in LERCARA FRIDDI

 

 

 

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Man in Lercara Friddi

2017

 

 

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PIAZZA ROMA

LERCARA FRIDDI

SICILIA

 

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Maria Salemi

 

 

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ANTICA FOCACCERIA S. FRANCESCO

PALERMO

The most famous place to eat in PALERMO. Signature Dish is PANE MILZA

which is a Sandwich made of Beef Spleen, Ricotta and Caciocavallo Cheese

on a Sesame Roll. The ARANCINI (Rice Balls) and PANELLE are great as well.

This place is a “MUST DO” when in Palermo.

 

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The “BIG GUY”

Cafe Glamor

Piazza del Duomo

LERCARA FRIDDI

 

 

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My SICILIAN HAT  , Vacation Journal , and a Wrapped ARANCINI

for Bus Ride from CANTANIA to PALERMO

at the CAFE by The BUS STATION in CATANIA

“They had tasty GELATO , Cannoli , and awesome ARANCINI at this Cafe.”

 

 

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MALANZANE PARMIGIANO

My first Lunch at VILLA DAFNE AGRITURISMO , ALIA , SICILY

 

 

 

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SOPHIA LOREN

 

 

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The RAGU BOLOGNESE COOKBOOK

by Daniel Bellino “Z”

 

 

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PIAZZA SINATRA

AGRIGENTO

 

 

 

 

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MEATBALL PARM MONDAYS

 
The MEATBALL PARM
Meatball Parm Sandwich

The Meatball Parm Sandwich, as stated earlier, is one of thee Italian-American males most treasured of all things in his life. Things he needs to live a happy, normal, satisfying life, and an actual necessity for true Happiness. It’s right up there with Mom, Grandma, your Girl, wine, Sausages, and Sunday Sauce. “We ask not for much.”
No you do not have to be a Man or a Boy to eat one. Ladies and Girls eat them as well. It’s just that the male of the species happens to eat 5-times the amount that Italian-American females do. Not only that, but the male of the species holds Meatballs and Meatball Parms in much Greater Reverence, than do Italian females. They “Exalt” it, as the Meatball Parm, it deserves such adulation. The men and boys adore it and get quite excited at the prospect and act of eating one, the “Meatball Parm.” And the ladies who make them, know how much their boys love and cherish meatballs and the Meatball Parm Sandwich. Italian women want to please their men, their sons, so they make them tasty bowls of pasta, Sunday Sauce, Sausage & Peppers and Meatball Parm Sandwich when their men desire them. Yes, we don’t need much; friends, family, good food and wine, and we’re happy.
Yes it’s true, Italian-American ladies and girls like this thing called the Meatball Parm as well, but they don’t get quite as excited about this sandwich as do the men & boys do. You see, Meatball Parms are held quite dear to Italian men. Yes, it’s a guy thing, and more specifically, an “Italian Guy Thing.” Yes, Italian-American males have given the Meatball Parm Iconic Status within our lives and the realm of food. Why? We’re Italian, it’s as simple as that.
The Great Ritual of the Meatball Parm Monday and as it ties to the Sunday Sauce. You make the Meatballs for the Sauce, the Gravy. On Saturday you will buy all the meat; the Sausages and the rest of the ingredients for your Sunday Sauce (Gravy) to be made on Sunday. However, on Saturday you are already thinking about those Meatball Parms for Monday’s lunch.
Yes, we do Meatball Parms on Monday, following the previous days Sunday Sauce. You see, you have to think ahead. Every good Italian knows that when you go through all the effort and time it will take to make a pot of Sunday Sauce Gravy. You don’t just make it for Sunday’s consumption alone. No, that would be a waste of time to make just enough to eat on Sunday. Well, it wouldn’t be a waste of time, but your time will be better spent if you make more. It takes time, effort, energy, and work to make a Sunday Sauce, which of course is well worth the effort. You do not mind the work involved at all, for in the end, the “Rewards are Great.” A Sunday Sauce will yield, the beloved Sausages, Gravy, Braciole, succulent Ribs, and Meatballs for Monday’s Meatball Parms.
It does not really take much more time to make a larger quantity in order to have leftovers for the next day or two, and this is just what one wants to do, which is to keep the Sauce going, and going for another day, even two. And in those leftovers are the much Prized Meatballs for Monday’s Lunch of Meatball Parm Sandwiches. Yes, the men love and need Meatball Parms on Monday, for the ritual of the Meatball Parms on Monday is a Time-Honored tradition enjoyed by many. As the saying goes, “The Simple Pleasure of Life,” here it is quite apropos.
So, you see, on Saturday when one goes to buy the ingredients to make the Gravy, they automatically know to make sure they get enough ground meat to make plenty of Meatballs that will last the Sunday Supper as well as yielding numerous leftover Meatballs for Monday’s Meatball Parms. And there’s always assaults on the pot of dipping in and grabbing meatballs before you even sit down to the table. With Meatballs and Gravy, temptations are always great. Yes the men, methodically make sure that there are enough leftover meatballs for Monday’s lunch. When all are finished eating the great Sauce on Sunday, they set some Meatballs aside for the next days ritual of Meatball Sandwiches for lunch. These sandwiches will make any dreaded Monday so much better, that’s for sure.
And if there are leftover Sausages? On Tuesday one can make Spaghetti or Rigatoni with Sauce and Sausages, or even a Sausage Sandwich. Think ahead boys and girls, think of Monday and your Meatball Parm.


by DANIEL BELLINO-ZWICKE



Excerpted from SUNDAY SAUCE  by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

 

The FEAST of The 7 FISH On SALE! Just 99 CENTS AMAZON KINDLE

 
ONLY  99 CENTS on AMAZON KINDLE


La Vigila “THE FEAST of The 7 FISH” The Southern Italian Ritual Christmas Eve Meal of Seven Fish, Representing The 7 Sacraments of The Roman Catholic Church .. This Meal is a Sacred Ritual of The South of Italy and Italian-American’s in New York, New Jersey, and other Italian American enclaves across the country. And You’d be Surprised to know that is Mostly of The South of Italy and Italian-America and that Many Italians from Central Italy to The North have never heard of This Great Traditional Feast as it is Mainly of The South. Have You ever wanted to Make or Eat one, but Don’t Know Where to Start? The Know-How is Mostly Passed Down in Families from One Generation to the Next and Not Much Has Been Written on This Great Subject. Not Until Now anyway with The Publication of This Book by Daniel Bellino Zwicke. You Will Find Everything You Need to Know to Partake, Make, and Eat this Most Important Meal of The Italian Calender Year , with The FEAST of 7 FISH.. 

The Book Contains Stories, Recipes and Instructions on How to Make This Great Feast, Your Very Own “FEAST of SEVEN FISHES” so Cook, Make, and Partake, Mangia Bene e “Buon Natale”

TEH EFAST of THE 7 FISH  –  ITALIAN CHRISTMAS  by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke


 

JUST FINISHED “SUNDAY SAUCE”

 

Just Finished My latest, “Sunday Sauce” When Italian-Americans Cook, “Yee-Haa” !!! Always a great feeling. The next great feeling is the day it’s published. It’s coming soon. Everything is in place, and with the technology and the way they do things these days, it might be up and running and available on Amazon by December 7, 2013, Just In Time for CHRISTMAS … It was another labor of love that I hope people will enjoy. It’s centered around Sunday Sauce, the “Suprem Dish” of Italian-America’s … And it’s not just Sunday Sauce, recipes for all of Italian-America’s Favorite dishes are in there, and as per usual with my cookbooks, it’s not just recipes, but all sorts of wonderful stories to boot. I hope everyone will enjoy it.

Thanks,  Daniel

 

 

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SUNDAY SAUCE

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

 

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Learn How to Make SUNDAY SAUCE alla SINATRA

RECIPE