Old Recipes
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These recipes were common fare among immigrant families in the early 1900's.  Each recipe is subject to infinite variation, including its name.  If you have additional recipes you would like to see posted here, email us.

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Numero Uno -- Polenta If you are using potatoes, peel, cut up and cook in boiling water. When tender, mash them with a fork. It doesn't matter if they're lumpy. Set aside. Place water in large kettle, add salt and bring to boiling. Add one cup cold water to the cornmeal to keep it from forming lumps, and slowly add the cornmeal to the boiling water. Add the potatoes. Simmer, stirring frequently, util cornmeal is very thick. Pour on a board or plate and make a small "ditch" around the edge to hold the sauce. Spread your favorite tomato sauce over the polenta, and sprinkle with grated parmesan or romano cheese. (Modernists have been known to make a quick version of this in the microwave).

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6 cups water

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1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

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2 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed (optional)

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about 1 tablespoon salt

Numero Due -- Endive Soup Harvest tender, young dandelion (endive) greens. Chop the endive. Bring broth to boiling. Add endive. Simmer 15 minutes. Mix eggs and cheese. Add slowly to simmering broth. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer another 15 minutes. Serve over a chunk of rustic bread.

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About 1 lb. endive, cleaned

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5 cups chicken broth

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1/4 cup to 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

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2 eggs, beaten

Numero Tre -- Stuffed Tomatoes Slice stem end of tomato, scoop out insides, leaving 1/4 inch shell. Drain. Chop pulp and set aside. Mix all ingredients, add about one-half cup of the reserved pulp. Sprinkle a litle sugar in the tomato shells and fill with mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes until tops are nicely browned.

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6 large tomatoes

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1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, dry

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1 clove minced garlic

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1/4 tsp. salt

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1/8 tsp. pepper

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1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

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2 tablespoons chopped parsley

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1 tsp. basil (optional)

Numero Quattro -- Fidalone or flathones (Easter Pastry)

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The Filling: about 6 eggs, more or less; and about 1 1/2 quarts of the following mixture: 1 cup grated of each -- mozzarella, provolone, romano, longhorn colby, sharp cheddar and ricotta. Mix the cheeses with the beaten eggs, add salt and pepper to taste. Let stand in refrigerator for several hours or overnight to meld flavors.

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The Dough: 5 eggs, 1 tsp. salt, 2 T. oil, 1/4 cup water, about 6 cups flour into which one tsp. baking powder has been added. Make same as noodle dough. Roll out thin and cut into 3 1/2 inch circles. Put about 2 heaping teaspoons on each circle, moisten edge with finger dipped in water, and pinch around dough to make a tart shape. Decorate top wth thin strips of leftover dough. Bake at 375 about 15-20 minutes until puffed and brown.

Numero Cinque -- Scrupalucci -- Mix flour, salt, sugar and cut in the margarine. After the yeast mixture has bubbled up, add it to the flour mixture to make a soft dough. Add raisins and knead until the dough is pliable, about 5 minutes. If dough sticks, add small amount of flour. Let rise in a warm place for one hour. Cut small pieces (the size of a small lemon) and pull the ends to stretch the dough.

Let rest while the oil is heating. In a skillet, put oil to a depth of about 2 inches. Test oil by pinching off a small piece of dough and carefully putting in oil. If it browns within a few seconds, it's ready. Gently put the other pieces in. Do not crowd. Fry until browned, then turn over. Drain on a brown paper sack.

If you have a 3 cup food processor, it is easy to make. Just mix dry ingredients in the processor cup, mix together the egg, water and yeast, then rasins, and process one minute after dough forms a ball.

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3 cups flour

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1 tsp. salf

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1 T. sugar

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1 T. margarine

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1 egg, beaten, w/water added to make 2/3 cup

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1/2 cup raisins

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1 pkg. yeast

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1 tsp. sugar

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2 T. warm water

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Oil for frying

Numero Sei -- Spaghetti con Aglio ed Olio (with Garlic and Oil) - Cook spaghetti until pliable but not fully cooked.  Drain in cold water and set aside.    Sautee minced garlic in a large iron skillet or wok with ample amount of olive oil.   Do not burn.  Stir constantly.  Add remaining olive oil and heat.   Add spaghetti, tossing constantly, and steadily adding bread crumbs.   When nearly all oil is absorbed and mixture is dry,  remove from heat and add parmesan cheese, tossing several times.  (Scrambled eggs, finely chopped after cooking, may be aded with the bread crumbs for a breakfast variation of this dinner dish).

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4-6 fresh garlic cloves, minced

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1/2 cup olive oil

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1 lb. thin spaghetti (leftover from the day before is just great!)

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2 eggs (optional)

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1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

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1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Numero Sette -- Torta (Cake) - Bake for one hour in 375 oven, checking after 50 minutes.

bullet4 eggs
bullet1 cup milk
bullet1 cup sugar
bullet1/2 cup oil
bullet2 tablespoons baking powder
bullet2 - 2 1/4  cups extra flour
bullet1 grated lemon

Numero Otto -- Biscotti di Calascio - To skin almonds, dip almonds in boiling water using a strainer until the skin is soft.  Skin the almonds and then roast at low temperature about 25 minutes until golden brown.  Chop almonds to bite size.   Prepare dough mixture.  Shape cookies into elongated shape (roll and stretch).   Bake cookies at 350 degrees until golden.

bullet3 oz. almonds
bullet8 eggs
bullet21 oz. sugar
bullet5 oz. oil
bullet5 oz. whole milk
bulletpinch of ground cloves
bulletflour should be added gradually until dough is proper consistency

Numero Nove -- Ditti e Fatti - Bake the cookies in small muffin cups at 350 degrees until done.

bullet9 oz. sugar
bullet9 oz. flour
bullet5 oz. almonds (skinned, roasted, crushed)
bullet1/3 cup of olive oil
bullet4 oz. bitter chocolate
bullet2 oz. sweet chocolate
 

Numero Dieci -- Sardellini - Bake ingredients at 350 degrees until golden.

bullet4 eggs
bullet11 oz. sugar
bullet1 oz. baking amonia (you will have to get this at a pharmacy or specialty store)
bullet7 oz. milk
bullet2 1/4 lb. flour
bullet1 grated lemon