Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ode To Joe & The Onion

"What would you bring to a desert island?"  Without a doubt... olive oil, garlic and onions. There is nothing more wonderful than the smell of an onion sauteing in a pan. It is equally good raw whether it be a red onion sliced on a burger, a Walla Walla chopped in egg salad, or a sweet Vidalia diced in bruschetta.
The onion is one of the oldest vegetables known to man and dates back to 5000 BC.  It was worshipped by ancient Egyptians who believed that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternal life. It was used to pay rent during the Middle Ages and its supposed medicinal prowess range from reducing the swelling of a bee sting, healing blisters and sea urchin wounds to destroying osteoclasts in the battle osteoporosis in women. Some studies show that the onion contain chemical compounds believed to have anti-inflammatory, anticholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties such as quercetin. (Wikipedia 2010). It can be said that not only do onions taste good, but are good for you.

I know there are those who don't enjoy onions. One of them being my brother, Joe. Onions weren't the only thing Joe could have lived without. For years he waited to have a brother, but six times in a row....he got a sister. And while the sisters double and tripled up in a bedroom, Joe slept on a pull-out couch in the family room. He didn't have his own room until Mom & Dad could afford a large Dutch Colonial in the country.  He painted his room black. For years, he denied he had sisters.  When we found this out, we planned an "attack".  Knowing he was on a bowling league and his buddies were on his team, the sisters waited for the next league night and showed up unannounced. We were young, stylin' and cute..something Joe never noticed.  In groups of two, we sashayed into the bowling alley and stopped at the lane where Joe was seated. The first two sisters chimed sweetly, "Hiii Joey". All the guys turned at the sound of feminine voices. Their eyes got wide. Joe ignored us. The second set of sisters came over and called out, "Hiiiii Joey." The guys almost spilled their beers. Joe ignored us. The third set of sisters came in and said, "Hiiii, Joey."  The guys jaws dropped. Finally, one of Joe's buddies found his voice, "And you girls are?" We answered in unison, "Joe's sisters, of course."  The jig was up. He was busted. And he couldn't ignore us. His friends turned on him...."Your sisters?" Another said, "Wow." Another said, "All of them?" Joe just stared at us and shook his head. We stayed long enough to make a lasting impression, blew kisses and left.  Mission accomplished.

Onions and sisters...Joe cared little for.  As a kid, he would pick the onions out the tomato sauce set before him. Weird, huh? Yet, there was one dish...a meal of pounds of onions that he loved. Weird, huh? It is called, Genovese. It is a family recipe handed down through the ages. It can be best described as an Italian Pot Roast. The recipe consists of a beef roast, onions, salt, garlic powder, a pat of butter and pasta. It is absolutely heavenly as it simmers for hours until the meat is tender and the onions soft to a point of sauce-like.  The onions natural sweetness really comes through. It is a hearty meal fit for the best company. It took years for Joe to appreciate having so many sisters, but it took only one forkful of Genovese to make this meal one of his all time favorites.


1 approx. 6 lb. beef roast: rump, top round or bottom round
6-9 lbs of yellow onions: each onion peeled and quartered
1 box perciatelli (fat, hollow strands of pasta) or Thick Spaghetti
garlic powder & salt
pat of butter
1/4 cup canola oil
NO water

Season roast with salt. In a large, tall pot brown roast on all sides in oil, then season with garlic powder.  Add all the onions into the pot. Sprinkle salt on the top. Add pat of butter. Cover pot with lid and simmer for 4-5 hours. Stir every so often to keep onions from sticking to pot. Onions will soften and meat will become tender. Remove roast and let rest. With an immersion stick blender, blend onions into a sauce. Don't over blend. Sauce should be full-bodied not liquidy. Can, also, blend in covered blender in small batches and returned to pot. Adjust salt to your taste.
Cook perciatelli according to directions (al dente) and drain well. Carve roast into slices. Pour blended sauce over pasta. Can serve meat on top of pasta or on a separate dish.  Put extra sauce in a gravy boat on table. Serve with Italian bread and a green salad.  Serves 6
*Can be cooked in crock pot on low for 8-9 hours. Leftover freezes well.
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Remember To Make Memories At The Table

1 comment:

  1. I love onions too, but my significant other doesn't even like them. Unfortunately she is like Joe. As a kid I wouldn't even go near a tomato, and yet I enjoy eating them now. Thanks for sharing some of your memories with us - as well as that delicious recipe.