Red Sauce America - Food, Culture, and Italian American Experience




The Red Sauce America Guide to Christmas Panettone

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Friday, December 1st, 2023 | 2,518 views

A tall panettone in the traditional style

A panettone with the dome-like shape


Nothing is quite like cutting open a panettone on Christmas morning. It’s a tradition that has been in my family since before I even liked eating bread filled with candied fruit. While Panettone has become an important Italian Christmas tradition, the modern recipe synonymous with the holiday only evolved in the mid-twentieth century.

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Lasagna for Thanksgiving? It’s more likely than you think.

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Sunday, November 19th, 2023 | 1,431 views

Lasagna, for Thanksgiving? You bet. A lasagna side by side with a freshly roasted turkey

Turkey is an iconic food of the Thanksgiving table. There are many ways of preparing turkey–roasted, fried, or stuffed with a duck and chicken come to mind–but for most people, their Thanksgiving meal becomes their own through the side dishes they serve.

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Breadsticks and Pasta: How Olive Garden Americanized Italian Food

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Wednesday, November 8th, 2023 | 1,944 views

The Olive Garden restaurant in Times Square arrived in New York City just as the theater district was being revived. Here the restaurant sign has been updated to an LED screen and towers over the subway entrance at 49th Street

The Olive Garden restaurant chain is often ridiculed by Italian Americans. The experience is inauthentic, the pasta overcooked, and the Alfredo sauce made with heavy cream. Yet, in one respect, the success of the chain represents the acceptance and integration of Italian American culture as simply mainstream American culture.

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Q&A With Agata De Santis: New Short Film Looks at E Rossi & Company

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Monday, October 30th, 2023 | 1,818 views

E Rossi and company is the oldest souvenir shop in Little Italy

E Rossi Company is a souvenir shop in Little Italy, Manhattan, the oldest in the neighborhood


E. Rossi & Company is the oldest souvenir shop in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Over the last century its had three locations and faces an uncertain future. Filmmaker Agata De Santis has a new film celebrating the shop and the owner, Ernest Rossi. I spoke to her about the project screening this week at the Big Apple Film Festival.

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A Brief History of New York City’s Oldest Pizzerias

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Tuesday, October 10th, 2023 | 3,435 views

Patsy's Pizza in East Harlem is the first NYC slice

Pizza was born in Naples, but it was the Italian immigrants in New York City who mastered it. Today, pizza grown into a truly American food available in every corner of the country. Yet, a little more than a century ago, it was an unknown ethnic food few Americans had ever heard of.

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The History of Philadelphia’s Italian Roast Pork Sandwich

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Tuesday, September 26th, 2023 | 2,869 views

Philadelphia Italian roast pork sandwich from DiNic's in Reading Terminal Market with provolone cheese and broccoli rabe on a sesame seeded bun

Philadelphia might be best known for its cheesesteak, but there’s a secret sandwich lurking in the city of Brotherly love. The Philadelphia Italian Roast Pork sandwich is a local delicacy created in the city a century ago by Italian immigrants, and it’s since become a local favorite that’s hard to find outside the city.

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The Many Foods of the Feast of San Gennaro

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Friday, September 22nd, 2023 | 683 views

Sausage and peppers on a roll are the classic san gennaro food

The Feast of San Gennaro festival in New York City started in 1926 when a group of men from the same village in Naples decided to roast a few chickens to celebrate their beloved saint.The neighborhood block party quickly evolved into a street fair organized by Italian Americans in Manhattan.

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The Feast of San Gennaro Returns to NYC This Week

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Friday, September 15th, 2023 | 1,084 views

sausages grilling at the Feast of San Gennaro in 2022

The Feast of San Gennaro kicked off last night in New York City. One of the largest celebrations of its kind in the United States, the feast has been celebrated since 1926.

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Vodka Sauce Is Having A Moment

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Monday, April 17th, 2023 | 3,978 views

Bon Appetit article on vodka sauce becoming trendy

Vodka sauce is suddenly trendy again. The creamy, sometimes spicy, pink-orange sauce is an Italian American classic. Ella Quittner at Bon Appétit takes a look at why this dish is suddenly popular.

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Celebrate National Pizza Day With Great Pizza History

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Thursday, February 9th, 2023 | 998 views

A cheese pie from best pizza

February 9 is National pizza day. Don’t worry if you thought this was in October, which is National Pizza Month. Today is dedicated to pizzas of all sorts — so don’t confuse today with September 5, dedicated to National Cheese Pizza Day, September 20 for Pepperoni Pizza, and October 11 for Sausage pizza. Apparently, the nation loves pizza.

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