Stuffed shells: Italian dish

Stuffed shells dish
Stuffed shells dish

Stuffed shells are a dish that my family has been making for generations. On my father’s side, his Italian ancestors came through Ellis Island and on my Mother’s side her Irish ancestors did as well. My family has made a dish that embraces both of these cultures through using an Italian sauce and adding pepperoni to the top to add flavor that my Irish grandmother would always do. This dish represents a fusion of two cultures coming together through my Irish mother and Italian father. It is something that has been taken from our ancestors and made into something that represents them as well as us currently. This dish is the source of many of my fond memories during my childhood years during Christmas time. On Christmas Day my family makes this dinner every year and it’s a tradition I hold very close to my heart. The food we make comes from recipes passed down for generations and in a way is able to connect me to people I will never physically be able to know. It creates a sense of their story being able to live on regardless of if they’re physically present or not. In my opinion, it also represents change and growth. It represents the changes that took place upon my mother and father’s marriage as they both came from different cultural backgrounds but were able to make something that represented their new unity. It represents the growing of two people with two different backgrounds into one while still preserving their cultural traditions and heritage. It shows the beauty in how just one recipe can become something everlasting even with change.

Place(s): New York, Italy

– Nicolette Buccola

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more