La Buona Cucina America Plus Pasqua in Calabria

Even though there have been small celebrations all week, today really begins the Pasqua (Easter) festivities around here. They won’t finish until late Monday afternoon, so I won’t be back blogging until Tuesday.

But you know I wouldn’t leave you without at least some suggestions of what to do to fill your blog-reading time, right?

Want to experience what I’ll be doing this weekend?

Sabato Santo procession in Badolato, Calabria, Italy1. Check out Pasqua in Calabria for a description of our day long procession on Sabato Santo (Holy Saturday) and the magical Easter Sunday meeting between the Madonna and Jesus.

2. Then see the photographic evidence in Pasqua in Calabria: The Photos.

3. And if you’re curious about why the fun in Italy continues on until Easter Monday, check out last year’s Pasquetta activities in Still Celebrating.

Calabrian Cuzzupe di Pasqua4. If you’re looking for traditional Calabrian Easter cake, check out Calabrian Cuzzupe.

5. And if you happen to be interested in one of my favorite childhood holiday memories, check out Deno’s Easter Eggs.

And now a very important announcement:

Have you noticed the new widget over in my sidebar? Looks like this?

La buona cucina americana

Here’s the deal. Our philosopher in Umbria, Judith of Think on it!, is stufa of hearing that American food is characterized over here in Italy as unhealthy at best and downright poisonous at worst. We Americans know we eat “real food” and that it’s not all sweets and McDonald’s right?

Well it’s time to show the Italians La Buona Cucina Americana.”

So Judith, Mary of The Flavors of Abruzzo, Barb of Barb and Art Live in Italy, Sara of Ms. Adventures in Italy, Cherrye of My Bella Vita, Judy of Over a Tuscan Stove, and I are going to be taking turns sharing real American food and recipes each Friday.

In the words of our fearless leader Judith:

Some friends and I are going to begin publishing weekly recipes for old fashioned American food, food like grandma used to cook and perhaps like you still cook, if you happen to be American. So what’s new about that? There are innumerable food bloggers in the USA pouring out magnificent food of every description as made in the USA. Yes, that is so, but they don’t do it from Italy and in Italian!

That’s right folks. All recipes will be in English *and* Italian so that Italians can stop by and enjoy some down home American food–so tell your Italian friends!

Mary is kicking off things today with American Style Shepherd’s Pie, and next week will be Judith’s turn with Chicken Pot Pie.

Mmm. I’m getting hungry…and homesick!

If there’s anything you’d like to see featured in La Buona Cucina Americana or if you’d be up for the challenge of sharing your American recipes in Italian (with ingredients available in Italy), leave a comment here!

I hope the Italians are ready for us.

Buona Pasqua to those celebrating–and buon weekend to all!

36 Beans of Wisdom to “La Buona Cucina America Plus Pasqua in Calabria”
  1. Laurie

    I would like to say, regarding American food, that my italian hubby adores our beloved traditional tuna noodle casserole (here in Torino I have to use Knorrs powdered mushroom soup mix instead of our Campbells “Cream of M”), with peas, and potato chips on top. He also goes into ecstasy over my peanut butter/ginger/scallion asian spaghetti, which I think we can call “American food”, no? (Although he did comment that it would be delicious with the addition of “un po’ di tonno”……HUH?????!!!!!) Anyway, I think this Buona Cucina Americana thing is a great idea – and Viva Judith!

    My mom and I were just talking about tuna casserole the other day and I said I think P would go for it, although without peas since he won’t let me put those in anything for some reason even though he likes them by themselves. And your Asian spaghetti sounds lovely…care to share a recipe?!

  2. 03.21.2008

    Fun. Enjoy your break!

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Heart Palm Leaves Make the Heart Happy

    I shall do my best πŸ˜‰

  3. Joanne

    Happy Easter Michelle, to you, P and the puppies!

    Joanne’s last blog post..Spaghetti alla chitarra, with mushrooms, white truffle oil and saffron

    Thank you, and also to you!

  4. 03.21.2008

    Heh, heh, heh…. I wish I were feeding Italians Sunday with my Greek lamb! I’m for protecting the true Italian cucina, after all teaching it is my second life career, but I think it is time for some FUSION! Sounds like some of the sposi agree.
    What ever happened to the uncle I was supposed to get?

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..American Shepherd’s Pie in Abruzzo

    Yeah fusion! I’m pretty sure you’re going to have to come to Calabria for lo zio. You know how they can be about traveling πŸ˜‰

  5. 03.21.2008

    Love the American cooking idea! Hope someone will post some good old-fashioned bbq recipes. Oh, and pies too!
    Have a Happy Easter and enjoy the break!

    Linda’s last blog post..The Sexy Ugly List

    Hey Linda, if you have any good old-fashioned bbq or pie recipes *you’d* like to share, we’re all eyes (and tastebuds) you know πŸ˜‰

  6. 03.21.2008

    Hope you have a lovely Easter with all the celebrations and festivities.
    I was thinking about you and all of the celebrations today.
    I am so glad about the American recipe posting. Rock on ladies and may I jut add my two beans about American food?
    It is true. Americans get a bad rap about food and I’m a little sick of the generalising myself.
    We do some mighty fine cooking and hamburgers and french fries are not the staple of all American’s diets.

    cheeky’s last blog post..Bush By Foot

    Yes yes Cheeky! I mean, we do make pretty darn good hamburgers and fries but that’s not *all* we eat! Hope you have a lovely Easter as well πŸ™‚

  7. 03.21.2008

    Happy Easter to you and all your readers.

    I thought Shepherds Pie was British for some reason.

    I have been following some of your American friends blogs and they do some fantastic recipes.

    Your right people should not generalize about the American diet…we only go off what we see on the TV or read in the papers.
    The media should look at some blogs, they would soon change their minds.!!! xox

    Anne’s last blog post..Have you ever been TAGGED..I have now…

    Shepherd’s Pie *is* British Anne! In fact, Mary does label her recipe American style b/c Americans tend to make it with beef while the English make it with lamb–but remember almost all “American dishes” come from somewhere else, young country that we are πŸ˜‰

  8. rowena

    RYC: And I *love* eating them!

    You better come back with a ton of food pics. As for the tarnished image that american cuisine holds for italians…well! Don’t I know it!! Antonella Clerici and Beppe Bi-what’s-his-face are always dissing american food. At least a tad politely, I should add, but you know…it shouldn’t be applied so generally across the board. Some of us DO know how to eat well and responsibly. Like all you gals. And me. Bring on the zeppole!!!!!!!

    Unfortunately food isn’t really our strong point in this festa–P’s family celebrates pretty low key, which is sad for me b/c I always loved Easter dinners at home, none of which was Italian though. And yes, La Prova del Cuoco is about the worst offenders in the bashing of American food. Care to join the crusade Rowena?

  9. rowena

    And I went to check on your zeppole post…YUM-ME. The contrast of salt and sweet is right up my tastebud alley. Errr…pretty much everything is when it comes to food around this country. Glutton…

    I hear you. There’s very little I *don’t* like here…and most of that has to do with random pig parts (although interestingly in salsiccia I don’t mind them so much) πŸ˜‰

  10. 03.21.2008

    My own husband thinks that the American diet consists of “hot dogs and hamburgers!” *eye roll* Can’t wait to see all of the new recipes of La Buona Cucina Americana! πŸ™‚

    Giulia’s last blog post..Palm Sunday 2008

    Giulia, are you sure you don’t want to contribute a recipe or two and show that hubby of yours? πŸ˜‰

  11. 03.21.2008

    Buona Pasqua a te, P e vostre famiglia in Italia πŸ™‚

    My Melange’s last blog post..Meme, Meme and More Memes

    Grazie…anche a voi πŸ™‚

  12. Maria

    I love how they celebrate Easter in Italy. I was there 3 years ago for Easter and it was amazing!!! Too bad I can’t be there this year, however I will be arriving March 31st! can’t wait!

    That’s so soon! Woohoo!

  13. Joanne

    Moi again, just wanted to let you know that I tagged you for a meme!

    Joanne’s last blog post..A new cocktail experiment and a new meme

    Thanks for letting me know Joanne!

  14. Ciao, bella.

    Something that I love that my mom refused to make when we were growing up is good old fashion Mac n Cheese! There are so many good ways to make it – lately I have added lobster and it is soooooo good!

    By the way…my church has a yard sale every year around this time…there are tons of books for 25 cents each…I will pick some up and let you know what I have…if you have not read them I will send them along.

    Buona pasqua!!! any plans for pasquetta?

    Paola (Italianissima)’s last blog post..A few more weeks…

    Ooh I would love some books Paola, thanks! No solid plans for Pasquetta, but the past couple years we’ve just had a cookout with friends in the piazza. Hopefully the weather holds up this year!

  15. 03.21.2008

    Buona Pasqua to you as well.

    running42k’s last blog post..A Good Friday

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  16. 03.21.2008

    I’m so excited to see what dishes y’all come up with. There are so many “American” or “Americanized” things that I would miss if I left here for too long. I’m thinking meatloaf and mashed potatoes can be healthy (especially with half turkey/half beef); oven “fried” chicken with oven “fried” sweet potatoes fries; and, well, let’s be honest a fabulous hamburger is just that — fabulous! And barbeque! That’s pretty American. BBQ chicken on the grill, that’s even healthy!!!

    Have a lovely, lovely weekend off. Happy Easter!

    Geggie’s last blog post..Room with a view?

    Great ideas Geggie–keep ’em coming!

  17. buona pasqua!

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Corrinne Bailey Rae – “Put Your Records On”

    Grazie πŸ™‚

  18. 03.21.2008

    Happy Easter, Michelle!

    BTW, I printed out your eggplant balls recipe–complete with the photo you took–and am looking forward to making it soon! I’ve already even passed your recipe on to my mom and a co-worker. πŸ™‚


    Christina Arbini’s last blog post..Are There Nuts In This?

    What a great compliment Christina–I know you approve if you give it to Mom πŸ˜‰

  19. 03.21.2008

    Have a wonderful weekend, Michelle! I feel like I cook the same things all the time, so I very much look forward to your recipes!

    Happy to share them Robin!

  20. 03.21.2008

    Buona Pasqua to you and P!

    Maggie’s last blog post..Can someone remind me what decade this is?

    Thanks Maggie; same to you and your P πŸ™‚

  21. 03.21.2008

    Un augurio di buona Pasqua a te e tutti i tuoi, cara.

    Paolo’s last blog post..Roberto Saviano meets Donnie Brasco

    Grazie…anche a te, l’altro P πŸ˜‰

  22. SabineM

    Happy Pasqua Sognatrice!
    have a wonderful weekend!

    SabineM’s last blog post..Taking a Little Break from Blogging

    Thanks Sabine πŸ™‚

  23. 03.21.2008

    Yeeha! Can’t wait to see what y’all American gals come up with. I’m ready for it whatever it is, bring it on, not sure about the Italians though because they are known for being a tad unadventurous food wise, shame but true.

    amanda’s last blog post..Moliere

    Yes Amanda, I have one of those at home, although he does surprise me every now and again.

  24. 03.21.2008

    Can Canadians contribute recipes too, then? Unfortunately I don’t have any pie or bbq recipes. I can make a mean cheesecake though.

    Linda’s last blog post..The Sexy Ugly List

    Well considering that Italians lump us all together like we’re in one country anyway….I’ll email you Linda πŸ™‚

  25. Gil

    My family kind of makes a bigger thing out of Holy Saturday than Easter as far as the food goes. Or maybe it is because we like the Holy Saturday food better.

    The menu runs something like this:
    Pizza Rustica, Macaroni pie (baked percotelli (#8 spaghetti), eggs & butter), cheese & cold cut platter, Italian bread, wines, coffees, etc.

    Dessert: Pastiera di Grana (sp?) and assorted Italian pastries.

    I’m heading to visit my cousins in NY around Noon Today and after writing this I’m getting too hungry to watch the F-1 qualifying!

    Buona Pasqua!

    Mmm…sounds good to me! Hope you enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚

  26. 03.22.2008

    I love that project! Maybe I can talk my Italian neighbor into helping me translate a recipe.

    Buona Pasqua!

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..Springtime in Michigan

    Sounds great Jen! Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

  27. 03.22.2008

    Happy Easter! Enjoy the festivities! I’m sure that all of the food will be wonderful!

    Debbie Egizio’s last blog post..Tag…You’re it and a little giveaway too!

    Thanks Debbie; we did eat well, thanks πŸ™‚

  28. 03.22.2008

    Great idea! can’t wait to see some good old fashion American recipes. Buona Pasqua Michelle:)

    Joe’s last blog post..Fraguni

    Thanks Joe!

  29. Cara B

    Happy Easter!

    Thanks Cara, same to you!

  30. 03.23.2008

    Just hopping by to say HAPPY EASTER !!!

    Diana’s last blog post..HAPPY EASTER !

    Thanks Diana; same to you!

  31. 03.23.2008

    We live just south of Little Italy … and they have fabulous parades at Easter.

    Teena in Toronto’s last blog post..I got the blues

    Lucky you Teena…any photos to share?!

  32. Stella

    Ce lo farei io! I have a great asparagus casserole recipe that my amici italiani loved.

    Let me know when to send in my recipe.

    Buona pasqua!

    Stella’s last blog post..Beyond Mommyblogger

    Ooh fun! I’ll be in touch Stella πŸ™‚

  33. 03.24.2008

    w00t! OMG Michelle, could you follow me around for a while when I first get there, and correct my Italian mistakes like that?!? Pretty prego??

    Paolo’s last blog post..Roberto Saviano meets Donnie Brasco

    Well that would certainly be an interesting gig, although considering I didn’t notice your mistake in the first place, I don’t imagine I’d be much use….

  34. 03.24.2008

    I love Judith’s idea! I have been writing in my offline diary a bit about the way people scoff at American native cuisine, and how many Europeans I’ve met think that all folks eat in the US is fast food and that none of them can cook!

    Love all the links to the festivities in your region. Auguri! πŸ™‚


    mentalmosaic’s last blog post..Wacky Easter Traditions: Murder, Spanking, and Witches

    Tui I was just reading an Italian magazine this afternoon that got me fired up all over again…I think I’ll include the quote in my La Buona Cucina Americana post….

    Hope you had a great holiday weekend!

  35. Wunschdenker

    In Vienna over Easter, my (Austrian) husband’s uncle was (once again) bashing not only American food, but how *much* of it Americans pack away in single sittings. (He was in Washington, DC for a 2-wk training seminar in Feb/March – computer/techie stuff and…well, you know the types that can’t seem to get enough when it’s all inclusive!) Anyhoo, I too am totally fed up with such over generalizations of American “cuisine”….battle on, women, and spread the good word – All Americans do not eat alike and are not all grossly overweight!……na bitte….

    Yeah I mean there’s definitely some truth to portion size in restaurants, but that doesn’t come near to covering what we eat at home…and generalizing across a country as big as the US is just silly.

  36. 03.28.2008

    Brava! Go for it!

    What’s funny about this to me is that a major project of most of my adult life has been converting my mother’s and paternal grandmother’s “old fashioned American” recipes into things that won’t kill you. It’s really just a matter of ingredients most of the time, you know, e.g., plain fresh or frozen fruit instead of canned in sugary syrup, or the non-hydrogenated organically grown palm oil shortening I use as opposed to the 1950s-70s Crisco that my mother and grandmother used because it was all that was available to them. But the other thing is that “old fashioned American” cooking is often really old fashioned cooking from all over the world — including Italy.

    Here’s to good, simple, fresh food, wherever you live.

    So true Sara; so much of that old-fashioned stuff was just so heavy, but with some small adjustments can be made much healthier. Duly noted πŸ™‚

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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