Parliamo Italiano

My grandfather’s grandparents were from a small town outside of Sicily. They came to America with the same dream that everyone else had: opportunity. My grandfather’s parents spoke to him in Italian, but as an aspiring doctor and a desire to assimilate, he didn’t continue the tradition with my own father. Of course, among my friends, I flaunt that I’m Italian and wish I knew a bit of the language to show off.

Being Italian American is not all amount Guidos, Jersey Shore, or mobster movies. It’s about keeping the same traditions that my ancestors had years before. It’s about being proud of my dark hair, eyes, and skin, visiting the Vatican when I visit Italy, and – maybe most importantly – slurping up strings of spaghetti.

On a college budget, it’s much harder to taste the same memories I can at home. But I did my best with ground turkey, jarred tomato sauce, and a box of penne. Here’s my college version of pasta Bolognese.

Turkey Bolognese

1 turkey burger patty
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onions, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 box of penne pasta
Salt and pepper for taste

1. Heat a pan with about a tablespoon of oil in the bottom. Add the defrosted patty, and use a wooden spoon to break it up into bite size pieces. Salt and pepper for flavor.


2. Once turkey is almost all the same color, add chopped onion. Cook until onions are slightly translucent.


3. Add sauce and let it simmer.

4. Add pre-cooked pasta to the pan. Let it cook in the pan for a few minutes to let the flavors mesh together. Buon Appetito!


4 thoughts on “Parliamo Italiano

  1. Bolognese is one of my go to recipes. Lidia has a wonderful recipe for a white bolognese that is knock your socks off good. Try it sometime!

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