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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pasta & Potatoes ( Pasta e Patata)

Grandma Lucy's Pasta e Patata
This is a Great Depression Italian American dish. It is from my Grandma Lucy (Lucia Casolaro DeMaria) she was my father’s second cousin and my Mom’s step Mom (You might be a Southern Italian if....your grandmother is your second cousin!) it wasn't for her my parents would have never found each other so I guess I owe a lot to her! She was a larger than life person who wore lots of jewelry, fur coats, and had bleached blond hair ! When I was little she seemed like a movie star to me.
one pound potatoes peeled & cut to a medium dice
medium sized pot of Marinara Sauce (48 ounces)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Fresh basil leaves
pinch of red pepper flakes

Put the potatoes, oregano, and olive oil, in a large pot and saute for a few minutes until golden brown. Add tomato sauce and enough water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil. Let it cook uncovered for about 45 to 50 minutes. If it starts to become too dry add a little water at a time. In another pot boil some pasta, (orecchiette or cavatelli or ditali) till almost done. Drain well and add the pasta to the pot with the sauce mixture.Add some torn basil leaves and let cook another minute. Cover and turn off the heat. Let rest for 10 minutes turning twice with a wooden spoon. Serve with plenty of grated cheese.

This my Grandma Lucy in her family's shop, New Jersey 1940's.

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