Friday, October 31, 2014

“Frittata di pasta” Recipe & A “Black Widow” Cocktail For Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! The cooler temperatures are finally upon us. The leaves are falling and the colors are spectacular. (Or I should say “spook-tacular“) There is so much to see and do at this time of the year; such as apple picking, attending costume parties, visiting haunted houses, watching horror films, trick-or-treating, carving jack-o‘-lanterns and many more fun activities, too numerous to mention.
What is Halloween anyway? The history of Halloween is known variously as Summer’s End, All Hollow’s Eve, Witches Night, and Snap-Apple night. Halloween is among the world’s oldest holidays. Rooted in ancient pagan and Christian festivals that celebrated the link between seasonal and life cycles. Halloween has transcended its cultural roots and is currently celebrated in various forms all over the modern world. Halloween as it exists today delights both children and adults. A day full of magic and mystery, Halloween has not only survived, but it has thrived during cultural, religious, and economic changes throughout its long history.

My son, Paul with Mouse costume I made
The basics of Halloween, such as wearing costumes, trick-or-treating, lighting bonfires, telling ghost stories, and attending community parties can be traced back 2,000 years ago to an ancient Celtic festival, called “summer’s end.” The Celts (which included people from northern France, Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales) believed that on October 31st the Lord of Death, would call together all the souls that had died the previous year to travel to afterlife during a vigil. Ancestral ghosts and demons emerged and were free to roam the earth, harm crops, and cause trouble. The living would often disguise themselves in ghoulish costumes so the spirits of the dead would think they were one of their own and pass by without incident.

In Italy, the popularity of Halloween has grown immensely over the years. While Halloween falls on October 31, All Saint’s Eve is becoming a popular day for costume parties and events. On All Saint’s Day (November 1st) Catholics attend church services in honor of the saints and the martyrs who have died for the Catholic faith. On All Souls Day, (which is the following day November 2nd) Catholics attend mass and they remember those family members that have died. Candles are lit and prayers are said to honor their memory.  

Halloween in Italy is primarily celebrated as the festival of adults, rather than the children. Trick or Treating, which is the customary celebration for children on Halloween, is not followed in Italy. It is the adults that put on masks during the celebration. However, recently more Halloween costume parties are being organized for children. In many Italian cities “All Saints Eve” are used to visit medieval towers, crypts, dungeons, or castles. Some of these cities hold children’s walks during the afternoon as well. Italy has several chilling displays of mummies and bones in catacombs, churches and crypts. These mummies have been naturally preserved and the displays can be a macabre sight, not recommended for the very young. Most every household in Italy, make plans to prepare a special cookie called the “Ossa dei Morti,” or “Bones of the Dead,” which is in the shape of a bone. These cookies are hard and brittle to resemble bones. This ritual stands for their belief that the living and the departed souls of the near and dear ones, come together to participate in the Feast.

Back in the states, did you know that since 1995, trick or treating in the town of Sandusky, Ohio, has been against the law for anyone older than 14? Did you know that it is very rare for a full moon to occur at the same time as Halloween? It has only occurred in-1925, 1944, 1955, and 1974. The next time it is said to occur is October 31, 2020. 

Fun Facts About . . . “Halloween”

The first Jack O’ Lanterns were actually made from turnips. 50% of kids prefer to receive chocolate candy for Halloween. The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owl's call meant someone was about to die. Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Orange is a symbol of strength and black is typically a symbol of death and darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death. Black Cats are also known as “familiars" or "animal guides" and were supernatural entities believed to assist witches in their practice of magic. Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who ever lived. Strangely enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis brought on by three stomach punches. Both Salem, Massachusetts, and Anoka, Minnesota, are the self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world. The Village Halloween parade in New York City is the largest Halloween parade in the United States. The parade includes 50,000 participants and draws over 2 million spectators. Scottish girls believed that according to ancient superstitions, if you stare into a mirror at midnight on “All-Hallows Eve” or “Halloween” you’ll see your future spouse.

Today’s recipes are my tribute to Halloween and to all Italian food lovers. The first one is a favorite of mine and a great way to appreciate leftover pasta if you have it on hand. My mom would make this and I loved it, especially the spaghetti, it gets crunchy and for this spooky night it looks like worms! Enjoy!!!

Frittata di pasta

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
a sprig of fresh parsley
1 cup of grated Pecorino Romano
4 cups of spaghetti cooked al dente
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste 

Cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water. (or if you have left over spaghetti, that will work) Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with the salt, pepper, chopped parsley and grated cheese, then add to the eggs, mix well together and add the milk. Drain the pasta and transfer it into a pan in which you have poured the oil. Sauté the pasta on high heat and when it is crisp and lightly browned, add the egg mixture. Distribute it well and cook the omelet pasta over low heat with the lid. Turn it and do the same on the other side. Serve immediately and enjoy!


The second recipe is a little more “spooky” for this hair-raising night! Dare to try this creepy, crawly, concoction. Let your family or guests pick their poison with a “Black Widow”cocktail. You can turn up the “Fright Factor” by placing some plastic spiders around your drinks.

“Black Widow”

Ingredients: makes 2 glasses
1 ounce of Anisette
1 ounce of Blackberry Brandy
1 1/2 ounces of Vodka
1 splash of Crème De Cassis-(sweet, dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants)

Mix all of the above together. Add black sugar sprinkles around the rim of the glass. Add a few black licorice strips slung over the sides of each glass to create “Spider Legs“ to really creep out your guests. Have a safe Halloween, remember drink responsibly.

*** Don’t forget to change your clocks back this weekend. We all gain an extra hour of sleep!  


Till Next Time…….

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


  1. Happy Halloween Dottie! Although it isn't one of my personal favorites, I must say, you have "dug up" some cool info!

    Thanks for sharing that Pasta Frittata! Not another favorite of mine but Marion loves it!!! Have a safe but chilling day:)

    P.S. I will take one of those drinks though:)

    1. Dear Louise, Happy Halloween back at you! Thanks for visiting...I like Halloween, but it is not my favorite either. You know that Christmas is my world. Love when you said that I "dug" up some information! That is a good one. I am glad that Marion likes the pasta frittata, and sorry that you are not a fan. But I understand, we can't all love everything. Yes, the drinks are cute and I love the taste of Blackberry anything. I hope that you have a fun well and have a blessed weekend. Dottie :)

  2. Che buona la frittata di pasta! I love all your writing about Halloween. Now it is being celebrated in Italy too, even if not as much as in America. I think it is fun and children love it so much. Carving the pumpkin is the best bit!
    The photo of Paul in his Halloween costume is really cute.
    Have a good Halloween night. Ciao bella!

    1. Ciao Alida, Happy Halloween! Thanks for visiting and I am so glad that you love this post. Yes, this pasta is easy and good for you, sometimes I add ham, or bacon to it as well. iWhen I was doing my research I read that Halloween is being made more popular for Halloween with the children. So happy to read that, because kids love it as you said. Oh, yes I love carving the pumpkin when my son was young, and then making pumpkin seeds in the oven. Thanks about my son, oh my that was taken so many years ago, I remember making that costume up to the last minute with the sewing machine. I don't have a date on it, but considering he is 39 now, it was a long time ago. I hope that you and your children enjoy the day/night and have a fun , safe Halloween! Have a great blessed weekend! Dottie :)

  3. Evening Dottie , this post is very interesting with facts , my older son did a paper (7th grade) and got an 'A' and it had the same facts , the Frittata di pasta sounds interesting , I always love the Black Widow drinks and make them each Halloween and more different kinds of Halloween drinks .
    Thanks for sharing and have a blessed weekend Nee :)

    1. Good evening Nee,
      Thank you for daring to stop over on this "spooky" day...So glad that you liked this post and the recipes. The Frittata di Pasta is really yummy, and you can add os many different ingredients if you like. After a day filled with ghouls and goblins, it is time for a Black Widow drink. I love the theme drinks instead of just plain wine. Don't get me wrong, I love wine, but it is nice to have a themed drink. It gets you in the "spirit" of things...Have a blessed weekend dear friend and thanks for your comment. Dottie :)