I am not Italian-American and have no Italian blood in me. I was never a big fan of the Italian-American food I had in America, for me the portions were HUGE and too many courses.
NOW I get it!
After living here for 30 years, I get it.
I can see where a lot of the food has it roots.
The Muffaletto Sandwich is from Palermo and most immigrants from Palermo were fishermen and went to New Orleans and brought their sandwich with them. It is not Italian food, nor Sicilian food but a regional dish.
People don't realize that there really is NO Italian food, but rather regional dishes, which are not found even 20 miles away or the recipe changes.
Gasoline is about $10 a gallon so you don't find people driving all over the place and food doesn't go very far either.
Things thought of as Italian such as Fettuccine Alfredo, really only exist at Alfredo's restaurant in Rome. ( there is no cream in Fettuccine Alfredo).
I have seen the Sicilian Anelletti for sale in my grocery store in Tuscany and was inspired to share what the original Spaghetti-O's probably came from.
The Timballo is one of my favorite Sicilian dishes, there are many versions, such as the spaghetti one I have already shown you from Planeta Winery.
The other day I made this version with the anelletti, basically the same theory.
The pasta is cooked in salted water, then tossed in a light tomato sauce.
The pan is buttered and then breadcrumbed.
I layered the pasta with some cooked eggplant in pieces and sicilian cheese and baked.
The pasta I found at my local shop has an interesting story. It is from a farm that the land was taken back from the mafia and turned into farmland.
Organic wheat and extruded through bronze give an incredible pasta.