For the Love of Pasta
The time was riper than a mid-summer tomato to chronicle the recent explosion of Italian restaurants in San Diego and to frame the history of the long-established ones that still thrive.
Locally based author and food blogger Maria Desiderata Montana has done exactly that (and more) in her latest book, “San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond,” published by The History Press.
As a first-generation Italian who was born and raised in Spokane, WA, she approached the eight-month project armed with a family background steeped in enviable culinary traditions.
Weekends meant rolling out batches of ravioli with her mother, whom she refers to as “the quintessential Italian wife,” while summers signaled the arrival of fresh vegetables that her father cultivated in their large backyard. She goes on to describe snacking on home-cured meats that were hang drying from the rafters of her uncle’s basement.
Her passion for cooking, she recalls, began at 7 years old when helping her mother prepare Christmas Eve dinner at the crack of dawn — hence a collection of favorite recipes from her own kitchen that are included in the book.
San Diego Downtown News
About Frank Sabatini, Jr.
Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of Secret San Diego (ECW Press); worked at the former San Diego Tribune; and has since covered the culinary scene extensively for NBC, Pacific San Diego Magazine, San Diego Uptown News, San Diego Downtown News, Gay San Diego, Living in Style Magazine and The Gay & Lesbian Times.