By Rosanna Scotto
FOX 5 “Good Day New York” Co-anchor
For the Scotto’s, Thanksgiving means family. It’s one of those great holidays where everyone puts the breaks on their busy lives and comes together for a wonderful time. All of the kids get involved in the meal and there is tradition, in the recipes, which has been passed down.
When we make certain dishes, it evokes memories of my childhood growing up in Brooklyn. The holidays were always special because everyone - cousins twice removed - was at the table and the eating went on for hours. Now, of course, we have scaled down because we don’t live in a big house; we live in apartments. Our restaurant, Fresco by Scotto, is open for Thanksgiving and we come in between busy times and have a big feast.
For an Italian American, the turkey is really on the back burner, it’s there but it’s not the center of the meal. We have to start off with pasta; some kind of lasagna or sometimes my mother will make the wedding soup, the one’s with little meatballs.
Before we even start the pasta, there are all different kinds of antipasti on the table, which are usually pepper and mozzarella and tomato and olives. Although I like turkey, I really love my mother’s stuffing, which was handed down from her mother. I’ve included the recipe so that you can make it with your family!
Sausage and Rice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage without casing
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground veal
2 pounds uncooked rice
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth
Serves 10 to 15
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, brown the sausage in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Remove it to a large bowl. Sauté the onion, beef and veal in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until brown and add it to the bowl. Cook the rice according to the package directions until al dente. In a large bowl, stir together the meat, rice, chicken broth, mozzarella and Parmesan. Place the mixture in a casserole dish, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Serves 10 to 15