(Un)traditional: Grazie-Giving


Allegra Drago

Whoever said too many cooks in the kitchen was a bad thing has never been to my house on Thanksgiving. Coming from an Italian family, holidays that revolve around food are made better the more cooks there are.

Similar to traditional American Thanksgiving, Italian immigrant Thanksgiving has always been about bringing the family together and cooking a lot of food.

I’m not going to pretend my family has any idea of the meaning behind this holiday , other than it being an excuse to cook enough food to feed twice the number of people who end up at the table, but nonetheless it is a great way to spend time with my family. We take the traditional Thanksgiving cuisine eaten on Thanksgiving day and adapt it to Italian culinary staples.

Though this day brings us together, there is plenty of bickering between my dad and his brothers about who is responsible for cooking which dish . This leads to disagreement and everyone meddling with each other’s dishes behind their backs. All of this tampering often results in certain dishes being overly salted.

While my family members spend hours perfecting the turkey, it is not the highlight of our meal. Year after year, the most anticipated dish to come out of the oven is the pumpkin lasagna. Replacing traditional Italian lasagna recipes, this one substitutes tomato sauce for a bechamel one, with pumpkin and sage added. Additionally, we spend hours cooking traditional Italian dishes such as risotto, osso buco and cannolis for dessert.