Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco means “not all donuts come out with a hole,” or in less philosophic terms, life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. Centuries of poverty helped Southern Italians come up with all sorts of ways of saying, essentially, that life fucking sucks.
But amidst the random cruelty and chaotic disregard of human existence, there are other Italian gems like meglio aver poco che niente, “it’s better to have a little than nothing.”
As such, in a trying personal time, I turn to Sunday Gravy. No one can be truly, truly sad when there’s Sunday Gravy. I imagine this is how my ancestors coming from Southern Italy, escaping crime and destitution, about to enter the hardships of immigrant life, felt when they realized how cheap and plentiful food, even meat, was in the United States. Knowing that even in suffering, there is abudanza, abundance.
Our abundance started with sweet vermouth spritzes sipped while listening to old Italian-American standards. The feast consisted of a rich sugo replete with pork, sausage, and meatballs accompanied by sedini penne crowned with a dusting of savory pecorino romano.
Thick slices of tomatoes, at the peak of freshness, were layered with creamy, milky imported buffalo mozzarella covered with a drizzle of good olive oil and freshly torn basil leaves. Thick Italian pane sopped up the gravy, as well as the caprese salad.
Roasted Italian frying peppers, bursting with molten fontina, mozzarella cheese, and sausage perfectly complemented the robust Vino Nobile.
Making Sunday Gravy today felt like a benediction, a link to the past, a connection to collective memory and consciousness, of interconnectedness with the hardship and joy of our ancestors.
Italian peppers stuffed with sausage and cheese.
A quintessential slow-cooked Italian gravy perfect for a Sunday meal with family and friends.