An Ideal Spaghetti Sauce
“There are two kinds of people in this world—Italians, and those who wanna be.” At least that’s how the saying goes, and obviously started by a very proud Italian!
But the truth is the older I get the more I appreciate who I am and my Italian heritage. My sisters and I (and our brother Carl) are a dying breed of full-blooded Italians in Omaha. We are third generation Italians beginning with our great-uncle Antonino, who settled in Omaha around 1910, in the historic Hotel Howard, presently known as Mr. Toads. Other siblings joined later including our grandfather; and all went on to establish their own businesses, mainly grocery stores and shoe shops. But my sisters and I always wished our family had gone into the restaurant business.
From time to time, we even dreamed of the four of us establishing our own Italian eatery. After all, we had possession of the best recipe for spaghetti sauce from our mother. But none of us wanted to work that hard! To us, the only one who could match our mother’s spaghetti sauce was our own “cuz” Joe Marino, owner of the Marino Deli, an iconic restaurant for many years on Center Street.
My sister Connie is the only one who has tried bottling our mother’s sauce, making it primarily with sausage. Carol makes it with spare ribs, while I like to flavor the sauce with jumbo meatballs. Our mother made it with all three, and our sister Cathy follows that tradition. On occasion growing up, I’d also seen my mother’s sauce simmering all day with tender fall-off-the- bone oxtails.
So instead of starting our own restaurant or trying to sell bottles of sauce out of our kitchens, we decided we would take on the finest of Omaha’s Italian restaurants and compare it to our own mother’s pot of gold. We’d like to see if we can find anyone who can come close to this authentic brew.
So the contest begins! We plan to visit within the next several months the best Omaha has to offer. We’ve decided to test our mother’s sauce with only the best. This April the first restaurant on our A-list will be the famous: Lo Sole Mio’s. Other well-known restaurants we plan to visit are: Vivace’s, Amore, Spezia, Nicole’s, Vincenzo’s and Mangia Italiana.
Now that’s… “An Ideal Life.”
If any readers would like us to visit their favorite Italian restaurant or if you own an Italian restaurant let us know by leaving a comment.