Rosa’s Pasta Project

I’m very grateful and proud of all of the immigrants who work or have worked endlessly to make America the beautiful place in which it is. My Grandmother, Rose (Rosa) Manzella-Parlatore immigrated from Sicily with her family when she was 12 years old.  She worked extremely hard to help her family make the American dream a reality.  She was what’s called a “pieceworker”, meaning she received payment by the piece produced.  “penny per bushel” as she said, which was the rate she received per bushel of green beans picked at the farm.  She was also a seamstress and received payment for the number of articles of clothing she completed per day.  As a Chef we can also relate to the piecework format since restaurants typically get paid based on the number of dishes sold.  As a kid pasta was a staple in our diet.  It’s one of the things that made me feel as though we really were Italians. See, my Grandmother wanted her children to be able to assimilate to the culture in hopes of them having less of a chance to be discriminated against and because of this type of mindset there’s many things about Italian culture and traditions my family is unaware of. So in honor of my Grandmother, I’d like to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of immigrants and refugees by utilizing pasta as the medium of my message and I’d love your help.  I’d like to learn more about Italian cultural traditions but as an American remain open to ideas of fusion.  I invite you to share your families immigration story, pasta pictures or recipes with us. Please use the comment section below or click on this link for a recipe submission (Recipes)

Follow along on social media, Instagram @rosaspastaproject.

Check out my Grandmother’s interview with Janet Levine, the oral historian for the Ellis Island Immigration Museum…

I feel blessed that we know my Mother’s direct ancestral lineage and a couple of years ago, for the first time in my families history we had an opportunity to visit my Grandmother’s birth place. Check out some of the picture’s from that adventure…

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