We Lost A Good One

Dom DeLuise passed last night at 6p PST. Everyone is talking about the movies he made and the comedy he did, and you know, that’s great. He was a fantastic comedian. He always made people laugh and I’m glad that’s such a huge part of his legacy, but you know what? I really never watched his movies. I really didn’t enjoy the comedy so much. But I loved that man and I have referred to him as “Uncle Dom” for years because he taught me the most important secrets of my life:

The secret to truly stupendous meat sauce; the secret to soul satisfying Chicken Marsala; and, how to survive when you literally have no money to live on. He taught me how to make gnocchi that taste good and a pasta with broccoli that made me the envy of everyone in the building when I would bring it to work. I have eaten what I consider to be the only edible carbonara based on his recipe.

When I was pregnant, P would make me a sausage bread that nearly made me cry — thanks to Uncle Dom.

He was a culinary savant. You wouldn’t expect him to be able to do what he did with food, and yet, he did. He used his Mamma’s recipes, and his sisters’ and his friends. He borrowed/stole recipes from everyone and presented them in three cookbooks.

Eat This … It’ll Make You Feel Better. This is the original and the classic. It’s also out of print, which is a horrible shame. Here you’ll find literally dozens of recipes that are his family’s favorites and that will quickly become yours. I feel like I’ve lost a family member. The wonderful thing is that his children and his wife are fully aware of how much they’re loved because it’s in every page of this book. There are stains throughout this book from the many years I’ve been cooking from it. I bought this book when I was eighteen years old and I still cook from it today.

Eat This, Too. In all honesty, I don’t use this one as much. I like it, but it doesn’t quite do it for me the way the first one did. I found it so comforting to have even if I don’t use it.

Eat This, Again! I don’t own this one and, in fact, didn’t know it existed. It’s apparently a re-release of the first book based on the amazon reviews. As far as I’m concerned, that’s good news. It makes the book that I adore a bit more accessible for those who weren’t fortunate enough to find it the first time around.

All in all, we’ve lost an amazing talent in so many realms. Here’s hoping, for Dom’s sake, that there’s pasta and wine and good sausage in heaven and that Dom’s mother met him with a big old plate of his favorite dishes.

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