I'm actually of Italian roots. And Irish. And French Canadian. And probably some other things thrown in there for good measure. But the one thing I can say is that my Italian side certainly feels at home on 9th Street in Bella Vista. It's like visiting my Grandfather's kitchen. Fante's, Anthony's, Claudio's, DiBruno's - it truly is like going home. Nothing to do but show up with a monster appetite and eat, eat, eat. When I get together with my (Italian) family on Thanksgiving, it's all about the food. In fact, it's always all about the food. So to get myself in the holiday spirit I took a trip to one of my favorite spots in the city - the Italian Market - for some color, sights and smells to inspire a few dishes I hope to bring to the table this Thursday. My good friend Mike is always up for a trip to Sabrina's so that's where we started, with this mouth-watering plate of pumpkin pancakes:
I mean, truly. Is there anything you can't do with a Pumpkin to make it a work of art?
So after a hearty breakfast, we continued on to the market and took it all in. It's a fact that I could wander this street for hours and never get bored. My mind races with episodes from the Food Network trying desperately to remember all the ingredients in Ina Garten's bolognese, Giada's vegetable bread pudding, Bobby Flay's chili. And then returning home with more bags of food than you can shake a stick at. So, a few shots to follow to illustrate what most of my Sundays have looked like for 11 years living in the city - and probably many, many more Sundays to come. Oh, and I did leave with everything I needed for an amazing vegetable dish that will make its debut on the Mascolino Thanksgiving dinner table this year. Yummo.