The story behind the dish: The recipe came from Rosie Tucci’s sister-in-law. Rosie’s Uncle Frank’s wife, Fanny Maletta Tucci, made it for Angelo and Teresa Dodaro when they first came to America in 1924. Grandma Teresa told her daughter, Gloria, that it was their first meal in this country. Rosie’s parents were Vincent and Nunziata Tucci, they came from Calabria. The two families (Dodaro and Tucci) were Paisans in Italy. They were friends but not related. Grandpa Angelo Dodaro made this recipe for the family many times over the years. According to his daughter, Gloria, he was a very good cook.
Recipe according to Cousin Richard Dodaro with corrections by Aunt Gloria in parentheses.
2 lbs mostaccioli rigate pasta
Soppressata (Aunt Gloria says it was hard piccolo salami, cut off the heal.)
2 lbs. mozzarella sliced and diced
4 hard boiled eggs (Aunt Gloria says it was 10-12 hard-boiled eggs)
1 lb. chopped pork and 1 lb. chopped beef (Aunt Gloria says it was more pork than beef.)
Locatelli Romano Cheese
Cut up mozzarella into little squares.
6” of Soppressata cut up into slices about 1/8” or 1/16” thick, then cut slices into small cubes.
Dice 4 hard-boiled eggs into little pieces.
Make mini meatballs:
Take pork and beef chopped together, 1 egg, 4 tablespoons of Locatelli Romano, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Add breadcrumbs until not slimy. Mix in chopped Italian Parsley.
Put olive oil in frying pan. Make little meatballs the size of marbles or smaller. Brown meatballs (soup bowl plate full of meatballs). Throw the little meatballs into mixture.
(Use same meatball recipe to make large meatballs to put in when making sauce.)
Take a large turkey roasting pan with cover and line the bottom with sauce (enough so that the sauce doesn’t burn). Put meat on top of bottom layer of sauce.
Boil 2 lbs of macaroni al dente. Very important that the macaroni is al dente. Only boil for a few minutes. Throw macaroni on top of sauce.
Put more macaroni and mix it in.
Alternate layers of macaroni and mixture.
Put in oven with cover on. 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Occasionally take cover off to see if pasta piena is bubbling. When it does bubble, scramble two raw eggs, add water and pour on top with a spoon. Then with a fork, push it in. Cover and wait until it comes to a boil again. Now it’s done
Grandpa Angelo Dodaro’s Sauce (used with Pasta Piena “full pasta”)
In a sauce pot:
Chopped garlic (6-8 cloves)
A couple of pieces of onion
Heat, stir fry.
Add Sausage, Lamb Shank, Pig’s knuckle cut in half, and Piece of Beef. (Aunt Gloria says not lamb, it’s too greasy).
Add 2-3 cans of tomatoes
Add a couple cans of water
Add Fresh Basil
Bring to a boil while stirring.
Add meatballs to sauce.
Boil for an hour to an hour and a half.
Grandpa occasionally added a shot glass of wine.