As a grandchild of four immigrants, my parents and grandparents always made sure to keep our heritage in our life any way they could. Often it was in the form of stories and photographs, but on my Italian side it was usually through food. My Grandma Emma immigrated to the United States at age twelve, and while she doesn’t remember Italy quite as well as my other three grandparents remember the countries they left at age eighteen, she always made sure to talk about what it was like coming over and what she did remember.
What I remember most about growing up and spending time with Grandma Emma was her time spent in the kitchen and the delicious food she made for us. She’s almost ninety-three now, so while she doesn’t spend as much time in the kitchen, we do share a meal together now and again, and I have a couple of her recipes to pass down to future generations. One of those recipes is for my all-time favorite dish: chicken cacciatore.
Italy is one of my favorite countries in the world. From the food to the people and the cultural traditions, there’s nothing not to love about Italy. So far, I have been to Rome and Venice, but I also have plans to visit Lecce in May for a wedding. I haven’t been back since 2006, which is why I am seriously looking forward to getting back to the beautiful country and indulging a bit when it comes to good wine and food.
Meal: Chicken Cacciatore
A whole cut up chicken
1 onion chopped fine
Half green pepper and half red pepper diced fine
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cans Del Monte tomato sauce
Half cup chicken broth
Half Teaspoon basil
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
Large bag of wide egg noodles
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
2. In a large non stick frying pan heat one tablespoon oil and brown chicken.
3. Remove chicken from frying pan.
4. In a large Dutch oven, heat the other tablespoon oil and sauté onions, peppers and garlic until soft.
5. Add the 4 cans of tomato sauce, chicken broth and browned chicken.
6. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
7. Add bay leaves and basil. Simmer for 45 minutes.
8. Serve on egg noodles and garnish with some fresh chopped parsley.
Pour yourself a big glass of red wine and enjoy!