Friday, May 8, 2015

“Rigatoni with Prosciutto & Peas In Vodka Sauce” To Celebrate Mother's Day

Ciao, it is Mother’s Day on Sunday.. I just want to wish all of my readers and followers who are mother’s, a beautiful, relaxing, and enjoyable day with your families. 
(L-R) Grandma Julia, Great-Grandma Sofia, & my mom, Madeline

As both a daughter and a mom, Mother’s Day gives me the opportunity to tell my mom how much I appreciate, respect, and admire her. It also reminds me of what my mom really means to me. As the oldest sibling in my family, I had the privilege of watching my mom raise my two younger brothers, work full-time as a teacher, and take care of our entire family, which included my dad, and my grandmother that lived with us. Her tireless example taught me the value of hard work and her encouragement of my creativity. Her ideas gave me the confidence to pursue my own dreams. She helped me to believe I could do anything that I set my mind to. My mother taught me the importance of education, work ethic, faith, and of course family. My mom taught me to be generous, grateful, and how to keep strong. Her attitude is always positive and is always trying to make everyone comfortable. Even if she is tired and exhausted, she pushes to make everyone happy. To her, my Dad and the family are so important. Her children and grandchildren are extra special in her life as well. 

Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that recognizes mother’s 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 business man from Philadelphia. Her persistent promoting finally paid off, President Woodrow Wilson finally make 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 florists 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 like 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.) 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 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. 

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. You’re my mother, and a friend also. Just want you to know how lucky I am 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!

One of my Mom’s favorite foods is pasta. This recipe I am sharing is a delicious and simple Italian pasta recipe called, “Rigatoni with Prosciutto & Peas In Vodka Sauce”

Rigatoni with Prosciutto & Peas In Vodka Sauce

1 pound Rigatoni
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/4 cup shallots (finely chopped)
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup good Vodka
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 ounces Prosciutto, chopped bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas, brought to room temperature
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup chopped parsley flakes 

Start by cooking rigatoni according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water. Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped Prosciutto. Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove Prosciutto from skillet and place on paper towel to drain. With remaining olive oil in the skillet, add about 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Add shallot and cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (optional) and cook for another minute. Remove skillet from heat and add tomato sauce, vodka and salt to taste. Stir to combine and place back on heat. Cook for about 8-9 minutes to allow the vodka to burn off. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the sauce becomes thick. Turn the heat down to low and add the peas. Cook for about 1-2 minutes and remove from the heat. Add crispy Prosciutto. Stir in pasta. If the sauce is too thick, you can add some of the reserve pasta water. Place parsley on top of pasta then serve with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, a crisp salad, and your favorite crusty bread.  Serves: 4-6

As I close this post for now, have a wonderful and relaxing day. Everyday should be Mother’s Day. Enjoy the day and make many memories with your family and friends. Buon Appetito !!

Till Next Time…………………….

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All Rights Reserved


  1. As usual I learn so much from reading your posts. :-) Sounds like you and your mother have a very special relationship. That's wonderful.

    Happy Mother's Day!

    - Audra from A Path to Create, Not Find

    1. Hi Audra S,
      Thank you for your comment and for stopping by..I am so glad that you enjoyed this post and recipe....Yes my mom is 86 and we have a special bond. I am the only girl in the family and the oldest. My mom taught me how to cook, and my grandmother Julia taught me how to bake as well. My great grandmother Sofia died when I was about 4 or 5 so I really don't remember her, (that is the photo) But sometimes when I bake or cook, I have a feeling she is right there next to me. If you are a mother Happy Mother's Day to you and yours...Have a lovely weekend..
      Dottie :)

    2. Just wanted to get back to you real quick about the issue with following my blog. I still haven't found a solution, but if you're interested, you can always do what I do to follow blogs that don't have Google Friend Connect: Simply copy the blog URL (in this case, go to your Blogger dashboard, and just below your Reading list click "Add." A window will open allowing you to paste the URL at the top next to "Add from URL." Voilà! :-)

    3. Hi Audra S,
      Thanks for updating me on your blog problem. Not to worry, I have been going into your blog, but I have been so busy have not had a chance to reply or make a comment. I love to crochet and knit. I saw that you make those pink hearts... Very lovely. I will do what you explained and hope that I will be able to go on and see all of your posts. Thanks again, enjoy your day! :)
      Dottie :)

  2. Buona festa della mamma Dottie! I hope you will be able to put your feet up and relax on Sunday.
    You are right, in Italy mother's day is not so commercialized. I can already see a big difference between England and Italy. You usually buy a flower for your mum. In my family we were always so close that mother's day was not so important. Having said that I think as mums work so hard they should at least be entitled to a day off cooking!
    Love you pasta dish. Fantastic combo with prosciutto and vodka. Un abbraccio forte cara xx

    1. Ciao Alida,
      Buona festa della mamma to you as well, dear friend. I think I will have to find sometime to put my feet up..Mother's Day should be everyday, as you know a mother's job is 24/7. Hope that is what is going to happen here, a day off of cooking and maybe going to a restaurant. We will have to see as the day gets closer. Yes, I love this recipe, but it is very rich, so I make this once in a while. Thanks for your comment and for visiting...Enjoy the weekend with your family..Abbracci indietro a voi caro amico!
      Dottie :) xx

  3. Good evening Dottie ,
    What a great post and a wonderful tribute to your dear mother and to all the mother's everywhere . Kudos to you ...
    like you I think Mother's Day should be everyday ,It's nice to give thanks o our mothers and to show them how much they are loved and appreciated .
    A very good post as usual my friend and this is to wish you , your mother and mothers everywhere , enjoy ,this day is for you and I wish he best on this very special day .
    Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend and blessing to you and your family .
    Nee ;-D

    1. Good evening Nee,
      Thanks for your words, very much appreciated. Yes, you are correct, even though it is my mom that I spoke about on this post, I mean it for every woman that is a mother. We can't forget about our mom's and grandmothers that have gone before us, they were strong woman too. Everyday should be mom's and dad's days too. Glad that you liked this post and the recipe. Dearest friend, I wish you and your family the best Mother's Day ever...We are so blessed with families that are so loved and the memories that we have from the past and hope to the future will be the best yet. Thanks for your visit...hope your aunty is doing well...
      Dottie :) x

  4. Dear Dottie, Mother's day was for me everyday. I miss my mom so very much. She passed away 28 years ago; yet it still feels like yesterday and one never gets use to being without the ones you love so much.
    This is a beautiful tribute.
    Wishing you a beautiful and blessed Mother's Day my friend. xoxoxo Catherine

    1. Dear Catherine,
      You are correct everyday is mothers day. I can understand about being with the ones you love, my brother is gone now 16 years this August 1. You know that you can never forget, and the memories will have to last a lifetime.. 27 years is a long time, I am sorry for you that you have lost your mom. I keep thinking about that interview you did with Chef K. and you spoke about growing up with the punch bowl. My thoughts went to my mom as well. She always had that punch bowl out on the buffet table. We both had a similar background growing up, and I can't imagine how how I would feel when my mom is no longer here...My mom used to say something like this, "with sons you give them to the wife, but daughters you have for life." Thank you for your comment and for visiting...Prayers to you on this Mother's Day, blessing for your children and friendship...
      Dottie :)