Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning and Happy Sunday. Some of the most colorful and flavorful dishes in Italian cuisine come from Sicilia, that magic island at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Near East. One of the most typical dishes is pasta ed fagioli, a staple of the diet of the poor Italian farmers that worked as bracciante (laborers) or mezzadri (sharecroppers) in the fertile fields often owned by absentee landlords from Roma or Milano. In honor of those hardy and honest workers that toiled tirelessly, not only in the peninsula, but also in the fields of Argentina and Uruguay, we are preparing a special dish today: pasta, baccala ed fagioli a l’Americana. Please remember that the whole continent was named in honor of the great Italian cartographer Amerigo Vespucci.

There is plentiful of fish, especially sardines, in the island cuisine and cod is not an exception; though more rare nowadays due to over-fishing, that marvelous creature still navigates in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. We cooked some fusilli in a Bechamel sauce with black beans, pistachios and Brazilian nutmeg. Can you feel the latter’s bewitching aroma enveloping you?

Even though the black beans were first planted by the Aztecs and the Mayas in Central America, we wanted to honor the countless emigrants of the humongous Italian Exodus of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that had chosen to start a new life in the continent of dreams: l’America. The salsa Bechamela is the perfect conduit for all these delicate flavors without blunting them. In order to show you how easy it is to prepare one, we are enclosing the picture of the cooking pot.

Of course we could not forget to grate some pungent Regiano-Parmegggiano cheese on top. There is plenty for all of us. Please come join us at our humble table for cibo ed converzazione. In the Italian culture, shared by millions of us, good food is a convenient excuse to make friends.

Salve bravissimi concitadini!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.