The last few weeks have been hell on earth dealing with the passing of my Aunt Con (who’s had plenty of Giusto press here & here) and I thank many of you for your condolences. Beyond the love of a nephew and his aunt was a kindred appreciation for and love of our heritage, often shared in the kitchen laughing over a crowded stove and a martini in hand. We were proud of where we came from but most importantly we were proud to be family.
And yet, amidst the anguish and cries of last week’s ceremonies, I found an unexpected gift to lift my spirits as the despair continued. On a table next to a stack of mass cards and old polaroids was a print out from a local Long Island newspaper. The article, something I only barely remembered hearing of, was a brief interview with my Aunt Con describing her love for food, family, and her NY-Italian roots. It brought both smiles and tears to read, even a chuckle at the mention of my father and I carrying on the cooking traditions of the family.
It’s no surprise they chose to interview my aunt – she was a strong and positive role model for so many as a personal trainer in Long Beach, NY. The answers and attached recipe are simple and elegant, humble but passionate – just like my Aunt Con.
My Zia was as generous as she was inspiring, so I’d like to share this half-page cutout that served as a surprising crutch during our struggles this past week. I hope you’ll find it as delicious as I found it comforting.
Ci Vediamo Zia.