Multigrain Bread

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the differences between whole wheat and multigrain bread. Is one actually better for you? How can you tell? Apparently, some bread companies assume that using just white flour and rice flour makes its bread multigrain. Though technically correct, two wheat flours is not exactly the “multi” that customer is looking for.

Multigrain bread from the Burlington Co-op | netflix & nutella

One of my indulgences in my small town crowded with fast food restaurants is the Co-op. Not only does it allow me to join humanity for weekend brunch, but it also provides me with fresh and often organic options that I can’t find at the more local and less expensive supermarket. The multigrain bread I bought there lists its ingredients on the front: white flour, whole wheat flour, oats, barley, millet, corn, rye chops, sunflower seeds, flax, honey, and sea salt.

Eggs in Tomato Sauce on Multigrain Toast | netflix & nutella

Truly “multigrain,” I’ve felt a bit more comfortable indulging on carby snacks like open-faced peanut butter sandwiches or this, one of my favorites: a spin on eggs in purgatory. I loosely followed Mario Batali’s recipe, simmering some jarred tomato sauce in a saucepan, adding in 2 eggs, and cooking for 3-5 minutes. Plopped on top of some toasted multigrain bread, this was the perfect hearty brunch.

Eggs in Tomato Sauce on Multigrain Toast | netflix & nutella

Eggs in Purgatory

I love tomato sauce (or “gravy” as my dad would correct me) many different ways, including but not limited to: tangy, cheesy, cherry tomatoey, spicy, chunky, smooth.

It’s is one of those things every Italian girl tries to master. It’s an essential in the kitchen. My mom would make a vat big enough to swim in every Sunday, and for the rest of the week, if we had nothing else to eat or just needed a little snack, it was there for us.

Hot antipasto

Flashback to hot antipasto baked in my mom’s tomato sauce at Christmas

So when my sister was running late and needed me to throw something together for dinner, she recommended I just made a pot of tomato sauce. Simple right? Confession: I’d never made it before. Why tamper with something my mom makes just so perfectly?

I loosely followed my sister’s recipe here, adding a can of tomato paste as per her additional instructions. I didn’t want to leave it there though. With a little extra dried basil, a splash of red wine, and a garlic clove, I made it my own.

It turned out deliciously. It was tangy, tomatoey, and just chunky enough (an immersion blender is key).

The next day, I made eggs in purgatory for lunch.

Runny egg + crunchy toast + creamy goat cheese + tangy sauce = bliss.

eggs in purgatory

eggs in purgatory

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!

Slice of Home

Ah, the midlife crisis. Some men resort to ridiculously expensive cars. Others to scandalous affairs. But in my household, with a Sicilian father and a mother who loves to cook, there was only one possible, logical indulgence: a pizza oven.

My dad had a pizza built in the backyard about 6 years ago. What seemed to some like a silly extravagance turned into a vehicle for a family tradition.


With my mom’s fresh tomato sauce, caramelized onions, mozzarella, various salami and prosciutto and arugula at our disposal, we create our different pizzas which my brother cooks to perfection as my dad offers unwanted input.

And in the end, it doesn’t matter how many times my dad corrects my brother on how he’s handling the pizzas or who consumed the most pizza. The most important thing is that it has remained a family tradition. With the oldest kid in my family 25 and the youngest 19, we still come together every summer to make pizza. I’m off to Elon in 1 week and 1 day and am starting to get the knots in my stomach. But nights with family friends and loved ones surrounding our crazy family, it couldn’t feel more like home.