Category Archives: Eggplant

Cultural Traditions – Enjoying Life’s Moments

Do you & your family have cultural traditions that were shared & handed down by the elders?  Chances are you do.  Whether your Italian, Italian American or have a different heritage; you are probably thinking of a time-honored ritual that your family shares, as you read this blog.  I am not talking about holidays necessarily, but about the day to day precious moments that we have the opportunity to enjoy.

Our family is Sicilian American, closely associated with Italian American

Our family is Sicilian American, closely associated with Italian American

In our family we sit down to dinner and share our day, thoughts, struggles, dreams & family history.  In the Italian (Sicilian) American culture; Sundays are known as a day for family, friends & food… then more food!  You may have heard us making reference to the pot being on stove all day on Sunday, ready to welcome & feed everyone who comes to visit.  The food is delicious & nurturing but the camaraderie – stories told, instruments played, singing & dancing amongst the laughter; these are precious moments in life we get to relish.

Stuffed Eggplant Appetizer

Stuffed Eggplant Appetizer

Today; in this day & age, it is commonly heard that “I am too busy,” having no time to participate in these vital, nourishing customs.  We are hoping to encourage everyone to stop; put down the cell phones, laptops, iPads & iPods – take time to say hello, how are you, let’s sit & talk over a nice meal… enjoy these cherished occasions & the people you love.  Don’t rush – make the time; you will embrace these memories dearly as generations grow & pass.  Imagine being able to share stories of family traditions, history, funny times & maybe even adventures experienced with the younger generations; inspiring them to take the time to share & enjoy life’s moments.

What are some of traditions you share with your family & friends?  We would love to hear your story….

Southern Italy, Northern Italy & yes, Central Italy – There is a Difference in the Regional Cuisines.

Are you, your family or ancestors from Southern or Northern Italy?  Than it is likely you know the cuisine of these regions, while may having similarities, are also very different.  There are many “regions” in Italy, generally cuisine is divided into two – Northern or Southern… but there is also Central Italy!  The food in all three areas bring something unique to the dining table.

Map of Italy

Map: 3 Main Regions of Italy

Let’s start in the North where you are likely to dine on meals that are rich & creamy along with stuffed meats & pastas; Parmigiano-Reggiano may well be the most popular cheese.  The Ligurian coastal section of north-west Italy boast fish (baccala), like Cod.

In contrast, Southern Italy is known for it’s tomatoes  – cooked in a sauce or served fresh; as well as peppers, olives, olive oil, garlic, Ricotta cheese, eggplants, zucchini & fish, like Tuna or Sardines.  As you can see, Southern Italy has had a great influence on American Italian fare.  For all you Pizza lover’s out there… it hails from Naples, also part of Southern Italy.

Organic Black Eggplant

Organic Eggplant in our Garden at Home.

Zucchini Squash

Organic Zucchini fresh from our garden.

Do you hear Italians mention Central Italy often?  Honestly, I don’t think I have ever heard that once!  Traditional Central Italian cuisine uses ingredients such as tomatoes, all kinds of meat, fish, and pecorino cheese.  In Tuscany and Ubria, pasta is usually served alla carrettiera (a tomato sauce spiked with peperoncini hot peppers).

As you can see by our menu; we offer a dining experience that is influenced by all the above, in addition to the induced Italian American dishes that came from our ancestors when they moved to United States. Comment below & share with us which style of cuisine you like best… or maybe like us, you enjoy it all!

Penne Baked

Baked Penne

Who took the eggplant off the buffet?

Many years ago when Joe’s Pasta House first came into being (our name was still Pasta Cafe then); we started offering our lunch buffet in addition to the lunch & dinner menu.  In the beginning, it was a limited buffet… with set menu items everyday!  One day I thought, wow we have customers who come in for lunch everyday; maybe we should offer different buffet items.  After mentioning this to Joe we decided we would alternate the main dish from Eggplant Parmigiana to something else.

Eggplant Parmigiana Dinner Entree

Eggplant Parmigiana Dinner Entree


Just for the record, it was me – Kassie, it was my fault the Eggplant was not on the buffet.  My poor husband spent the whole lunch hour fixing eggplant for our regulars (and happily, he was thrilled you all love it so much).  Since then, I am happy to say, Eggplant Parmigiana is a staple on our buffet & we have expanded our buffet to offer soup & other entrees options.  So, what is your favorite dish on the lunch buffet?