A loud and proud Italian family from Chicago welcomes Joey as they prepare an odd yet delicious recipe that's been handed down to younger generations for years. The Cannistra family has had this recipe handed down through the generations from Nonni Cannistra's mother-in-law, down to her and now to her own daughter-in-law, Cheryl. Even though Nonni has three daughters of her own and two sons, it is the wife of her son Frank who has taken this honored family tradition under her wing. Frank and Cheryl Cannistra welcome Joey into their kitchen to meet the gang. Cheryl married into the family and has learned to master one of her mother-in-law's favorite recipes — spaghetti with the fish.
The Cannistra family are a close knit with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins all gathering together to share in the creation of this time-honored traditional recipe.
Nonni lets Joey in on the family recipe. She shows him how to chop the fresh ingredients to add to this wonderful Italian dish. Jimmy shows off his cutlery skills, chopping the garlic, parsley and green olives with pimento.
Cheryl and Nonni add a secret ingredient to this traditional family recipe that definitely kicks it up a notch — hot Giadiniera peppers. It adds a little spice to warm your taste buds in an explosion of flavor.
There is no exact measurement to this delectable dish, just a little bit of this and a dash of that will make this recipe bloom in full perfection.
Joey enjoyed the dish with the rest of Cannistra family.
Spaghetti with the fish brings this family together for holidays and special occasions.
Here is the recipe for what they made.
Spaghetti with the Fish
Servings: 4 to 6
Time: 75 minutes
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 gloves of garlic chopped
6-8 large green olives with pimentos chopped
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
salt and pepper
1 lb Merluza (whiting) fish
1 lb Vermicelli pasta
grated romano cheese
1. In a 1 1/2 – 2 quart pot, mix together olive oil, garlic, green olives, capers and Italian parsley. Heat on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Be sure to remove from heat before the garlic begins to brown.
2. Add hot water about 3/4 of the way up your pot. Add salt, pepper and hot giardiniera to taste. Cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
3. Add Merluza fish. If using Merluza fish, you may want to soak it in cold water for about 30 minutes while prior to adding. If Merluza fish is not available, you can substitute another white fish such as turbo, dory or swai. Cook for another 30 minutes.
4. While fish is cooking, prepare the pasta according to the box directions.
5. Plate individual servings of the pasta, topped with a ladle full of fish mixture, top with grated romano cheese.