Pasquale’s coming to town. We think Naples and crave pizza.
Why is it that some childhood memories are clear as day?
I recall my Nonna Frances frequently bringing Fran and I to see Auntie Rose and Uncle Neno. There is no social media back then. When I tell this to my daughter Bella Sophia she can’t believe my talk of the “old days” no cell phones…
Thoughts of making pizza connects me to my memories of Great Uncle Neno. I am thinking back to my childhood, we had weekly visits with Auntie Rose and Uncle Neno. I can recall walking up the high stairs to their penthouse. I’m greeted with an amazing view of Monterey Bay.
As soon as I walk into the front door I can smell sauce and fresh basil. Uncle Neno calls to me, “come over here Maxine, help me make this.”
I eagerly walk back and around the corner to the bright kitchen. I follow the smell of sweet basil.
“No time or energy to make dough. This is my trick,” Uncle Neno nods and explains to me.
I watch as my great uncle slices a long loaf of Italian bread in half. He drizzles on olive oil with a steady and practiced hand adding fresh ground pepper.
“Maxine,” my great uncle looks into my eyes, he is serious. “Don’t forget this step, olive oil must touch the bread first.” I am honored with this secret and eagerly nod my head up and down to show that I understand the importance.
He continues, quickly and efficiently spreading the red sauce. Not too thick. Nice and even.
Thinking back on this thought I am inspired. Tonight we decide to blast Pasquale’s tenor voice from the speakers, might as well make a weeknight fun. We have a pizza party… not a Naples thin crust but a thick French bread pizza ‘ala Uncle Neno’.
Perfect, easy and delicious for a weekday dinner. O Sole Mio!
We put on lots of fresh basil. Yummm.
It’s a mash up of influences. We add heirloom tomato slices. The steamy creation is out of the oven. My hubby loves his balsamic so we add a drizzle. Oh yeah! Uncle Neno would be proud! Delicioso.
Hope to see you at Carmel Mission on Sunday. If you can’t make it have a pizza party! Blast Pasquale from the speakers and sing along. Join in on the fun.
Olive oil first? Fresh pepper? Special toppings? What tips do you have, I would love to hear from you.
Maxine (AKA “Molly”)
Aside from recording and touring, Pasquale made his successful debut at San Francisco Opera in June 2015 receiving rave reviews for his portrayal of Ragazzo del Popolo in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (La Ciociara). The New York Times stated that he sang with “airy charm” and The San Francisco Chronicle described Esposito as a “charismatic and dulcet-toned” singer that delivered a “splendid account.”
It you can’t make it to Carmel Mission (or one of his other wonderful concert locations) you can find his music here: