Coast Cooking

Italians may not like a lot of sauce on their pasta, but Americans do


Special to the Sun Herald

Americans like more sauce on their pasta than Italians do.
Americans like more sauce on their pasta than Italians do.

This week’s blog topic is Italian-American food, a culture born of Italian immigrants, forced to use ingredients they found at hand in their new home.

No amount of trial and tribulation could convince any Italian to stop eating pasta, but some subtle changes did take place.

In Italy a pasta dish is about the pasta, not the sauce. Pasta is lightly coated in sauce, the pasta is cooked al dente and no Italian in his right mind would serve meat balls with pasta.

The pasta course is called primo, but the next course, where the meat balls rightly belong, is called secondo.

In this country we look at it a bit differently. We like lots of sauce, an Italian might think it is a soup, and more often than not, the pasta is cooked through, with no firm core, the way the Italians like it.

Americans are also fond of thick, hearty beef sauces. The Sicilian II in Biloxi offers a fine example, as do several other Italian-themed places on the Coast, such as Stala and Salute. We also would not think twice about serving delicious homemade meatballs with a bowl full of pasta.

Speaking of Sicilian II, 1670 Pass Road, Biloxi, Chef Hristo Drakopoulos has recently been diagnosed with serious medical problems. Visit the Sicilian II Facebook page to see how you can help.