Antipasto, Family Recipe

Every region of Italy has its own version of antipasto, depending on local products that are readily available, and if the desired end result is a quick first course to a meal or if it’s preserving a huge batch to keep on hand for personal use and/or to share with extended family and friends. The antipasto recipe I use came via my Aunt D (her source unknown) who passed it on to my sister-in-law M who passed it on to me and generously provided hands-on training during my first attempt. Over the years I’ve made a number of adjustments to Aunt D’s and M’s recipe because I can never leave well enough alone. In any case, here’s the standard recipe, along with a variety of options. By all means, add your own …

Antipasto, Family Recipe

¼ pound butter

1 bottle catsup (family size)

1 quart olive oil

½ cup sugar

1 quart white vinegar

2T salt

1 quart sweet pickles

1 quart or more canned mushrooms

1 quart string beans

1 quart celery

1 quart cauliflower

1 quart pearl onions

1 quart carrots (optional)

1 quart peppers

1 quart olives

1 quart anchovies

1 pint tomatoes

Other veggies to add or substitute: baby ears of corn, hearts of palm, hearts of artichokes, assorted varieties of mushrooms, olives, etc.

3 or more cans tuna (large family size)

2 cans sardines in tomato sauce (regular small size)

Blanche raw veggies

Drain all canned items (do not reserve liquid)

Cut all ingredients into small pieces (2 to 3 per tablespoon)

In a very large kettle add oil, vinegar, butter, catsup, and sugar. Heat.

When hot, add blanched veggies and all other ingredients. Bring to a simmering boil. Spoon into sterilized jars and seal. Should produce around 30 to 40 pints, depending on total ingredients. Although original recipe does not require cold-packing, I process sealed jars in boiling water for 20 minutes for added safety.

Allow to sit for at least 3 weeks before using. Eat with a fork or on top of bruschetta or crackers.


About Loretta Giacoletto

Loretta Giacoletto is an American writer of family sagas, mysteries, and contemporary fiction, all of which contain elements of crime. She divides her time between the St. Louis Metropolitan area and Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks where she writes fiction, essays, and her bi-monthly blog, Loretta on Life, while her husband Dominic cruises the waters for bass and crappie. Their five children have left the once chaotic nest but occasionally return for her to-die-for ravioli and roasted peppers topped with garlic-laden bagna càuda. An avid traveler, she has visited numerous countries in Europe and Asia but Italy remains her favorite, especially the area from where her family originates: the Piedmont region near the Italian Alps. - See more at:
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