Thank God Sunday comes only once a week. Getting through Sunday lunch in Italy (or with Italian Americans in New Jersey for that matter) requires stamina and physical strength. Expect to eat your weight in pasta and pastries — and then work it off by washing pots sticky with red sauce and a million and one dishes and glasses. You can’t use paper or plastic on Sunday, after all.
Last Sunday, I had lunch at the home of my cousins Gigino and Flavia and their children Fausto and Angela. We laughed, we ate, we ate some more, we laughed some more. Passing the day with them is a pleasure with or without food — but there’s always food. In honor of my attendance at Sunday lunch, Flavia made homemade gnocchi, with flour but no potatoes. The gnocchi were light and delicious and smothered in a red sauce with meat, which we ate as our second dish. We also feasted on salad, eggplant rolled and stuffed with chopped meat, and freshly grilled pork. Just when we thought our stomachs would explode if we took another bite, we delighted in Italian pastries — everything from cream puffs to lobster tails (the kind with cream in a flaky pastry shaped like a lobster and not the fish). And they didn’t even let me help wash the dishes. To view pictures of the fun we had on Sunday, visit the photo album “Sunday Lunch in Italy“.