Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Mother's Day 'la festa della mamma' & “White Clam Sauce with Pasta”

Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that recognizes mothers and motherhood. In the United States we celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. The holiday was created by Anna Jarvis who lived in West Virginia. The year was 1908 and she wanted to accomplish a dream her mother had, which was to have a celebration for all mothers. She kept promoting the idea and even enlisted John Wanamaker, a wealthy businessman from Philadelphia. Her persistent promoting finally paid off, because President Woodrow Wilson made it an official holiday in 1914. Eventually, the holiday became so commercially publicized that Anna Jarvis ended up opposing the holiday she helped to create. When she died in 1948 she regretted that it had become a holiday in the United States. Today, Mother’s Day still remains one of the biggest days for selling flowers, greeting cards, and other gifts to celebrate mothers. It is also the biggest holiday for long -distance telephone calls. Carnations, became the traditional flower to represent the celebration of Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis, chose the carnation because it was her mothers’ favorite flower. As florist sales expanded the more types of flowers were sold. Florists promoted wearing a red carnation if your mother was living or a white one if she had passed on.

In Italy, Mother’s Day was celebrated for the first time on May 12, 1957, in the city of Assisi. Throughout Italy, it is usually celebrated on the second Sunday in May just like the United States.  Italian Mother’s Day is not as commercialized as the United States. It is a day for families and for very personal expressions of love. Italian mothers, traditionally celebrate Mother’s Day by bringing the whole family together. La Mamma is not allowed to do any housework on that special day. She will have breakfast made for her, (fresh pastries and coffee/tea.) Greeting cards are not as popular either. It is far more common for children to write their own poems or thanks for Mother’s Day than to buy a store bought card. As for Italian mothers, attending church on Mother’s Day morning is still an important part of their tradition. In Christianity, the word “mother” is referred to the mother church, the giver of spiritual life.

I remember, as a young girl many a Mother‘s Day that my brothers and I would try to make breakfast for our mom. We attempted to make eggs, toast, waffles, (toaster waffles) and if we really got creative maybe some pancakes. (with the assistance of our dad) I was the oldest, plus the only girl so I was the one who was more responsible. Our breakfast was not the best, but it really showed our mother that we loved and appreciated all that she did for us. Then after breakfast we attended Church, and back home to prepare for our family dinner celebration. Once in a while we would go out to eat with the family so my mom could enjoy her day. There was a restaurant on Long Island called Patricia Murphy’s and the whole family would gather there for a special Mother’s Day dinner. These restaurants were legendary and famous for their incredibly luscious popovers. There were waitresses dressed in gingham walking around with baskets of popovers, and you were welcomed to take all the popovers you could eat.
My mom and myself

Well, Mom here’s to you! “Auguri per la Festa della, Mamma” (Happy Mother’s Day) I just want you to know that you are very special to me and so blessed to have you in my life. Thanks for always being there for me, and I love you very much. So “Ti Viglio Bene Mamma” (I Love You, Mother) to you, enjoy and relax. It is your day to celebrate!

Here is a recipe that my mom really enjoys. She loves pasta of any kind. If she was lost on an island and could bring only one kind of food with her it would be Pasta. This is the quintessential Italian dish especially in Naples and Rome. This pasta classic is so tasty; you might think you were dining at the neighborhood Italian restaurant. You can serve this with garlic bread and a tossed salad. So this one is for you mom…Hope that you enjoy your day. Love your daughter Dottie xx

White Clam Sauce with Pasta”

8 ounces of linguini or spaghetti
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
2- 6 1/2 oz chopped clams,

(each drained and reserving liquid)
1- 8 oz. bottle of clam juice
3/4 cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon of Red Pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directed on package. In medium saucepan cook garlic in oil till tender. Add reserved clam liquid and remaining ingredients except clams. Bring to a boil; and reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add clams and heat thoroughly. Serve over hot pasta of your choice.

Another great addition to your White Clam Sauce with Pasta is a nice bottle of Chardonnay, Chablis, or Sauvignon Blanc. Delicious!

As I close this post for now, just a wish for all of my readers who are Mothers to have a wonderful and relaxing day. Every day should be Mother’s Day. Enjoy and make many memories with your family and friends. Auguri!

Till next time………………………………..................... 

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Good morning Dottie ,
    What a wonderful tribute to your mother and all mothers around the world .
    I make clamsauce quite often and 'New England Clam Chowder' and your choice of wine is great . Have a blessed 'Mother's day and make happy memories , thanks for sharing ...Nee :)

    1. Dear Nee,
      Thank you for stopping over to visit. As I said in the post, Every day should be Mother's Day! I have made clam sauce with fresh clam many times, but this is a short and quick version, especially when you can't get fresh clams. I love New England Clam Chowder, that is because I love creamy soups. My favorite white wine is Chablis, and thought that these wines were an excellent choice as well. Thanks Nee, you are right on the mark! I wish you a wonderful Mother's Day, enjoy with your family and relax a bit, remember it is your day! Blessings for a wonderful weekend, dear Nee. Dottie :)

  2. Dear Dottie, I agree, everyday should be mother's day. Each day should be a day to show the love and respect for mothers and children alike.
    This is a recipe that was very familiar in my home growing up. As you remember Friday was meatless growing up and this was often dinner. It was cooked just like your recipe and was so delicious!!
    Have a beautiful weekend and blessings, Catherine xo

    1. Dear Catherine,
      Thanks for stopping by, I love when you visit! I agree, I think that many families in this world we live in, don't teach respect, values, and morals to their children. It is a shame things are not like when we grew up.
      Yes, Friday night's meatless meals. At that time it was every Friday, not just during Lent. My mom would serve this as well. It is really good. I wish you, dear friend a wonderful Mother's Day! I hope that you enjoy your day with your family. As I said to Nee, relax and enjoy, after all it is your day!
      Blessings, thank you..Dottie :)