All (Italian) American

Nov 09, 2015 946

Growing up, I had a friend with dark hair and espresso-colored eyes whose skin turned a deep shade of copper in the sun. Her brother was flame-haired, fair-skinned and freckled. (Yes, I'm positive he wasn't adopted.) While they both shared the same roots of an Irish father and a Native American mother, their characteristics couldn't have been more different.

Much is the same with Italian and Italian-American food. Italian exchange students I've known through the years have displayed a range of visceral reactions to this distant cousin to their homeland's cuisine. While the sauce and meat are the stars of an Italian meal made in the U.S., the pasta itself is the diva in Italy, where sauce is used simply and sparingly.

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