Tag Archives: Italian immigrants in WV

Colaianni Ravioli: an Italian family’s Easter tradition

Like the Feast of the Seven Fishes, Easter also has some unique recipes and traditions that have migrated from Italy, and although we don’t have a festival dedicated to them, they remain a part of our observation of the holiday every year, as they do with Italian-American families across the country. I make an effort every Easter to prepare something that reflects my family’s Italian heritage and through the years have enjoyed making, among other things, Pizza Rustica, Ricotta Pie, and Manicotti.

But ultimately I always come back to the two dishes that I grew up with: Easter Bread and Veal Ravioli. In a few days my kitchen will be filled with colorful dyed Easter eggs ready to braid into warm yeasty dough that will bake into delicious Easter Bread. The workflow that results in the Veal Ravioli will represent an ever larger investment of time and labor (and money – veal is definitely not cheap these days). These two recipes have been prepared for generations in my Italian American family. I love to make them and feel a deep responsibility to preserve them for the future generations.

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We spoke just Italian at home

“My parents were Italian immigrants, and they settled in West Virginia, where my father came over at the age of seventeen, where he was a bookkeeper. He came over as a bookkeeper for an Italian, Mr. Fucci [sic], who was building a railroad through a great part of West Virginia at the time. [ed. note: […]

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