Last updated: August 23. 2013 4:49AM - 185 Views

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LIMA ‚?? Who doesn't love Italian food? Some of the best Italian food in the area, served by those who make it best, will fill plates to heaping as the Charitable Italian American Organization, CIAO, hosts its 25th annual Italian Dinner Sunday.‚??This is our 25th year and it's a milestone for us. This dinner started as UNICO and evolved into CIAO, and we honor that,‚?Ě said Andy Maravola, who has headed seven of those last dinners.‚??This is a popular event. There's good food and with more than 4,000 people coming downtown to eat, you're bound to run into someone you haven't seen for awhile,‚?Ě Maravola said.Indeed, while the food is good, Maravola credits the atmosphere with being an even bigger draw.‚??I always walk around and I see so many things. Last year I saw a little girl, maybe 3 years old, stand up and go dance with the LCC Italian dancers. It was so cute. People can have a good time. They can sit and talk as long as they want. There's no pressure,‚?Ě he said.Also keeping folks happy will be the price of the dinner.‚??We are able to keep our prices the same this year as we have the last few years. We know the economy. People treat us well so we want to return the favor,‚?Ě he said.Proceeds from the annual event go towards scholarships. ‚??This year we hope to give 20 $1,000 scholarships. With this money, we get it in one hand and give it out with the other,‚?Ě Maravola said.Ticket prices also include entertainment by the Italian-American band, Ray Massa's EuroRhythms. ‚??They are a good Italian band. They play some rock, but they know the Italian music,‚?Ě Maravola said.‚??This is a great dinner and a good time. But the main thing is it allows us to show our Italian heritage. This is a way we can express that heritage and keep our club the best it's ever been.‚?ĚAnd on Sunday, CIAO shares that heritage with everyone. ‚??Come down and be Italian for a day,‚?Ě Maravola said.Grandma Minardi's Tomato Sauce2 1/2 cups chopped onions1 gallon tomato juice1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup salt (scant)1/2 tablespoon basil1/2 teaspoon oregano2 cloves of minced garlicIn a tea ball or muslin bag add: 1 1/2 bay leaves, 3 to 4 whole cloves, 5 to 6 peppercorns and 5 to 6 whole allspice. Saute onion in oil. When golden add to the remaining ingredients in kettle and bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer until thick. If you don't have a teaball strainer, tie your spices in a small piece of thin muslin or cheese cloth, it is much easier to remove spices from sauce this way, in one swoop, rather than fish around with a spoon for that elusive bay leaf or clove.From Rosemary Minardi GeigerGarlic Lover's Spaghetti1/2 cup olive oil1/2 cup butter4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced1 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon black pepper1/2 teaspon oregano (optional)1/2 cup chopped parsley1 pound thin spaghettiMelt together olive oil and butter. The mixture should be warm rather than hot. Lightly saute garlic in it for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, oregano and parsley and simmer 5 minutes, stirring. Cook and drain the spaghetti. Toss with sauce. Add grated Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired. Serves 6 to 8.From Fran Vertuca

Everybody’s Italian on Sunday: CIAO pasta dinner
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