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


History



The History of Rhode Island’s Pizza Strips

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Wednesday, May 15th, 2024 | 870 views

Rhode Island pizza strips, also known asa red strips, are topped with thick tomato sauce


No state has a larger percentage of residents with Italian heritage than Rhode Island, so it’s no surprise the Ocean State has its own unique style of pizza. What is surprising is this classic pizza doesn’t have any cheese.

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How Sicilian Citrus Salad Conquered the World (Or At Least The Internet)

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Friday, April 19th, 2024 | 1,503 views

Sicilian style citrus salad with navel oranges, cara cara oranges, and blood oranges topped with red pepper

Mixing blood oranges with Cara Cara oranges and navel oranges brings a variety of sweet, bitter, and sour to the plate, along with spice from crushed red pepper


Just about everyone seems to have a recipe for Sicilian-style citrus salad these days. The colorful combination of oranges photographs beautifully, particularly since the fruits span a spectrum of deep red to pale yellow, from blood oranges to grapefruits. In the era of visual-forward social media like TikTok and Instagram, brightly colored foods get the clicks.

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The Many Ways to Cook Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil

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Tuesday, April 9th, 2024 | 1,077 views

Pasta with garlic and oil, known as aglio e olio

Spaghetti with garlic and oil — and in this case, black pepper



Sometimes known as ‘cuckold pasta,’ legend has it that cheating wives only had time to cook spaghetti with garlic and oil, but there’s a lot more to this simple pasta.

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Panzerotti and the Mystery of the Missing Florida-Style Pizza

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Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024 | 2,754 views

A panzerotto from panzerotti bites on Smith Street in Brooklyn, filled with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, fried in a thin pizza dough

Circulating on pizza message boards and other corners of the internet where pizza enthusiasts gather, a photograph of a sign advertising Florida Style Pizza has been making the rounds. Readers are confused: what is Florida-style pizza?

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The History of Zeppole di San Giuseppe

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Tuesday, March 12th, 2024 | 1,231 views

The zeppole di San Giuseppe are filled with custard or ricotta cream

The zeppole di San Giuseppe are filled with custard or ricotta cream


The Feast of San Giuseppe is celebrated every year on March 19, and is also known as Festa del Papá, father’s day in Italy. The feast day celebrates Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary. But it also means one thing for Italian American bakeries: zeppole di San Giuseppe.

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The History of Pasta Con Le Sarde

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Monday, March 11th, 2024 | 772 views

Pasta con le sarde is made in America with canned anchovies and sardines

Italians make pasta con le sarde with fresh fish, but Italian Americans are more likely to use canned anchovies preserved in oil

Macaroni con le sarde, or a pasta con le sarde, is a traditional Sicilian pasta made with a sauce of fresh sardines and fennel greens and tossed with toasted breadcrumbs. While a common dish in Sicily, it’s less well known in the United States, except perhaps, in New Orleans where it has become the cornerstone of the St. Joseph’s Day celebration.

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The History of New Jersey’s Italian Hot Dog

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Monday, February 19th, 2024 | 1,996 views

A single Italian hot dog from Johnny & Hanges in Fair Lawn topped with onions, peppers, and cubed potatoes

An Italian hot dog topped with onions, peppers, and potatoes.


Italian Americans are well known for a variety of sausages, but hot dogs aren’t usually considered an Italian sausage. However, that didn’t stop the Italians in New Jersey from adopting the hot dog, and making it uniquely their own.

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The History of Chicago’s Italian Beef Sandwich

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2024 | 14,179 views

An Italian beef sandwich from Al's Number 1 Italian Beef in Chicago

An Italian beef sandwich from Al’s Number 1 Italian Beef in Chicago

Chicago’s meatpacking industry helped make beef a staple on American plates, but it also shaped an iconic Italian sandwich.

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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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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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