In my family, Thanksgiving dinner always begins with the primi piatti, or first course. It’s the Italian way. Don’t even try to slap a turkey, stuffing and some sides on the table without first serving some type of soup, pasta or risotto dish. But, let’s face it. Who could possibly ingest, much less savor, turkey and all of the trimmings after scarfing down a plate full of homemade manicotti or porcini risotto? Maybe that’s the reason why in Italian families, Thanksgiving dinner is usually an all day affair, with several “rest” periods between courses to enable diners to take short naps or walks around the block? That’s also why, if given the choice, I usually go for a soup.
When soup was on the holiday menu at our house, my mother usually made a big pot of Minestra Maritata, or Italian Wedding Soup. It’s a light, flavorful soup made with chicken stock, greens and little, tiny, light-as-air veal meatballs, and which by the way, has nothing to do with weddings. It was, and still is, a very popular dish, if not a predictable one. But, sometimes, I just want to stir things up and throw something unexpected into the mix. Here’s a dish that none of cooks in my Italian family would ever think of putting on their Thanksgiving table. None except me, that is. read more >>