Politics, Religion, and Tomato Sauce

For my upcoming holiday party, my cousin and I will be making several homemade pizzas. As an Italian-American, I know there is no topic more controversial and passion-inducing than spaghetti sauce. When you grown up in an Italian family, you know that the three things you never discuss with someone are Politics, Religion, and Spaghetti Sauce.

Italian Americans go around to different homes and restaurants and put every dining experience into one of two groups, “authentic” and “not authentic.” Having grown up in this environment, I can tell you that while spaghetti sauce is no laughing matter, the truth is that every family makes is differently. There is more than one “authentic.” But don’t ask an Italian to admit it. I’m 25% German too.

However, PIZZA sauce is quite different from Pasta sauce. True, in Neapolitan pizzerias there is not a whole lot of difference, but the main distinction here in America is one word: Oregano. Pizza sauce has it. Pasta does not. When you’re making PIZZA, feel free to add oregano, we love it.

WARNING: I know plenty of Italians who would never speak to you again if you so much as mentioned the possibility of including Oregano in pasta. It’s blasphemy. Once you taint their precious spaghetti sauce with oregano, it’s no longer edible (unless you put it on dough and cover it with mozzarella).

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