Up on Arthur

Gabriele is fascinated by all of the American food that is marketed as Italian, like a massive ham and salami sandwich that Robert brings home, which bears no similarity to any food Gabriele knows from his home country. But Gabriele is convinced that not all Italian-American food has strayed so far from it's roots and Robert offers to take him and Debi up to Arthur Avenue, the epicenter of Italian culture in New York, for some research. They make traditional pasta with a third generation pasta maker, mozzarella with a second generation deli man, they get homemade Italian salami from the local pork store, they play bocce and the visit the garden of a beautiful Italian grandma who hardly speaks any English at all. But what Gabriele really takes away from his fun-filled day is that Italian-American food is really it's own cuisine, neither completely Italian nor completely American is can be a wonderful amalgam of the two. And in honor of that concept, Gabriele makes his version of baked ziti, a beautiful cake of pasta with mozzarella, pork and red sauce, wrapped in slices of eggplant. He also makes a fresh green salad and, for dessert, cannoli with orange liquor and orange zest. Viva Americano!

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