Grandmother remembered for Italian feasts - PineCreek Journal

Grandmother remembered for Italian feasts

Saturday, May 25, 2019 | 12:01 AM

It doesn’t matter how old you are, it seems that the best recipes come from the kitchens of grandmothers and grandfathers.

Lucy Yannotti, who lived in Morningside, gathered her family of four adult children and 14 grandchildren every Sunday into her kitchen and served an Italian meal from scratch that is still very much alive today.

Lucy’s granddaughter, Dana, who is a teacher and mother of two, recalls asking her grandmother to share her secret. Since Lucy never wrote down her recipes, Dana had to tweak the measurements to accommodate her family of four. When Lucy passed away, she left a true legacy for Dana and her family.

Italian Meatballs and sauce

(serves six)

12 ounces canned tomato paste

1 large can tomato puree (DeLallo)

1 large can of water

small pork roast

2 -3 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of parsley

garlic salt to taste

1 small chunk of Romano cheese

3 basil leaves

½ cup sugar

olive oil

In olive oil, sear the meat on high, browning on all sides. Remove from the pan and place on a platter. In a pan, add garlic, oil, salt, pepper and parsley. On medium heat, cook until the garlic sizzles, then add tomato paste and blend. Then add the tomato puree, one can of water (use the empty puree can), and blend together. Add garlic salt to taste. Add ½ cup sugar and place the pork roast back into the sauce. Add the chunk of Romano cheese and the basil leaves. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring until the sauce begins to boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 3 to 4 hours.


2 ½ pounds ground chuck

1 cup bread crumbs, Italian style

3 tablespoon parsley

½ cup imported Romano cheese, grated

black pepper to taste

salt to taste

2 large eggs

garlic salt to taste

½ cup chopped onions

½ cup water to mixture

Place the ground chuck in a bowl. Add bread crumbs, parsley, Romano cheese, pepper, salt, eggs, garlic salt, chopped onions and water, then mix until blended. Roll into balls of desired size and place in sauce at the boiling point. After you reduce the heat to simmer, stir with a wooden spoon. Place in sauce raw and allow to simmer for an hour.

Even if she served a 10-course meal, Lucy ended it with a special dessert. It was always something special and the perfect way to end each dinner. This Fruit Trifle was always a favorite.

Fruit Trifle

(serves eight)

vanilla cake mix-butter recipe

2 vanilla pudding mixes, make according to directions

1 large can fruit cocktail, drained

1 can cherry pie filling

1 large can crush pineapple, drained

12 ounces of Cool Whip

Make the cake according to the directions. Allow to cool and then break up into pieces. In a large bowl, divide into thirds and layer in this order: cake, pudding, fruit cocktail, pie filling and crushed pineapple. Repeat that same order until you get to the top of bowl. Then top it off with Cool Whip.

Let set in refrigerator at least four hours or overnight. Serve chilled.