Words in Italian or Italian dialects were often corrupted or misused by non-Italian-speaking descendants of Italian immigrants. "Shrimp scampi" is a dish where large shrimp are sautéed with garlic, wine, butter, herbs, and red pepper flakes, then served over pasta or rice. It is a staple in Italian-American restaurants, most likely the descendant of an Italian recipe that involves langoustines sautéed in wine, olive oil, onion, and garlic. Langoustines are a type of tiny lobster, called scampi in Italian. Italian-American cooks adapted the recipe but kept the old name.
Cucina Tomato Gravy
In Italian-American communities, eating a red sauce—or "gravy"—loaded with various kinds of meats and sausage is a beloved Sunday tradition. The recipe derives from Neapolitan ragù, but you won't find Sunday gravy in Naples. Or anything with the word "gravy" in it, for that matter.
Come enjoy delicious, authentic Italian American Cuisine
in our family-friendly atmosphere!
Located at 515 S.E. Broad St, Southern Pines, NC 28387
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - 5pm to 9pm
Friday & Saturday - 5pm to 10pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
We accept and encourage reservations.
Circa 1965 Oringinal Building The Capri Restaurant, now Curt's Cucina a little nostalgia.
The Conundrum: Spaghetti and Meatballs
What could be more Italian than a plate of spaghetti and meatballs? Spaghetti and meatballs are, perhaps, the most famous "Italian" food outside of Italy. Yet, it's very rare to find spaghetti served with meatballs within the boot, where meatballs—polpette—are almost always served on their own. The most popular theory holds that the recipe was invented by poor Italian immigrants in America who wanted to make a satisfying main dish using cheaper cuts of meat. However, some food historians believe that prior to Italian immigration to the United States, small meatballs were sometimes served in Southern Italian baked pasta dishes.
So can I get it in Italy? You'll have your work cut out for you, but in recent years, spaghetti con polpette can sometimes be found in restaurants, served with small meatballs rather than meatballs the size of your fist ("abbondanza" is an Italian-American concept, after all). But while popular Italian food sites and celebrity chefs like Benedetta Parodi offer recipes for the savory dish, they're quick to give credit to Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" or Middle American "Little Italies" for the inspiration.
Cucina Beef Ravioli
Tomato Gorgonzola Cream Sauce,
Fresh Italian Parsley