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  Making Ricotta cheese in Alia, Sicily at the Villa Daphne








Ingredients for visiting friends and loved ones.

Visiting with friends and loved ones is enjoying good food.







This page will be devoted to our good food through our many recipes.  Please join us in sharing these joys of love with our loved ones and friends.  If you have a recipe you would like to contribute to this site, e-mail Carole Macaluso Thomas, at cmt272@yahoo.com  or send them to her at P.O. Box 603, Magnolia, Ms. 39652.  It will appear on this page right away.  If we receive enough recipes, we can publish a Family Cookbook.

Family Recipes

  These recipes are some Italian recipes that we've enjoyed over the years.  Of course, each family has their own favorites, so if you'd like to share them please do.


We called this Capanatina

Makes 3 quarts.

6 cups cubed eggplant
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup diced celery
2 cups canned tomatoes
1/4 cup black olives
1 cup green olives
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Saute eggplant in olive oil.  Add vegetables and cook for 20 minutes.  Add rest of ingredients and cook for 30 minutes.  Place in jars and refrigerate.

This is a great appetizer served on toasted, thin sliced french bread or on crackers.


Hot Tamales*

4 lbs. pikes peak roast
1 lb. salt pork
3 onions
2 pods garlic

Boil these ingredients together until cooked.  Strain and reserve water.    Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the following seasonings to the meat and then ground together with a meat grinder:

2 T. cumin
2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 T. paprika
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. allspice

Prepare the corn shucks by soaking in warm water and let dry. Cut pointed ends off.

Scald 2 lbs. cornmeal in the reserved water (enough to make meal soft).  Spread the cornmeal on half the shucks. Place meat on one side, roll and fold over the "empty" end.  Place tamales in large pot on a rack with 2 inches of water on the bottom.  Steam for about 2 hours on low fire.  Add water in pot as needed.


1can tomato paste
1 T. lard
1 pint of water
Half tsp. of all seasoning except cayenne pepper

Melt lard, add other ingredients, bring to boiling point and pour over tamales.


*This recipe is such an important part of our Macaluso heritage.  It was one way Grandma Nancy used to feed her five children.  My Daddy, Russell Macaluso (about 14 years old), sold Grandma's hot tamales on the street off a homemade vendor's wagon with roller skate wheels.

Grandma would start making the tamales the day before by boiling the meat and then putting the meat through a meat grinder.  She would season the meat so it would be ready to make the tamales the next morning.  Her day would begin at 3a.m. in order to have them ready for Daddy to leave at 11:30 so he could be at his corner, north gates of LSU) at noon.  The Crescent Laundry was on this corner and the workers would buy the tamales for lunch.

*Thanks to Nancy Ferrara Ballard for the info and recipe.

Couchie Datie (Fig Cookies)

2 sticks oleo
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
6 cups flour, sifted
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk

In large bowl, cream oleo with sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Sit flour and baking together.  Add to egg mixture.  Work with hands, add enough milk to hold dough together so it can be rolled.  Pinch off a small amount and roll out on floured surface about 3 inches wide and 12 or so inches long and 3/16 of an inch thick.  Fill with couchie datie  filling.


2 strings dried figs with stems removed

1 cup pecans, toasted
1 box raisins
Juice from 1 small orange
Grated rind from orange
1 tsp. each:  cinnamon and allspice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup warm water, to make fig mixture manageable

Grind or process in food processor:   figs, pecans and raisins.  Add spices and orange rind and juice.  Dissolve sugar in water and add to fruit mixture, blend well. Filling needs to be soft enough to spread.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes