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Dec 28, 2009 04:50 AM

Help! Would love to hear if anyone is familar with meals made at the Italian American Club in Ridgefield, Ct. 1960's

My Dad would attend men's night once a month at the Ital Amer Club and return with a "take home" container of the meal, always including the fabulous tomato sauce. I have recently learned that the secret ingredient was SALT PORK. Have experimented and it does add the flavor that i remember so well. Would love help "finetuning" if anyone is familiar with salt pork as an ingredient to tomato sauce. Also, they made a dish called "pasta chatta". Would love help with recreating this dish, as well. Thanks.

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  1. Yayasheri, this reminded me of a lost! recipe I had for lasagna with thin slices of ham in it--it was wonderful! As for the Pasta chatta, I put the words together to make pastachatta, did some googling and got an answer--maybe-- is this a possibility? The poster said:

    "You sure you're not looking for pasta shuta sauce?

    From the web:

    Pasta-Shuta รก la Elaine - in english

    1.1 lbs (500 g) ground beef
    1 Onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves of garlic
    2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
    1 red sweet pepper, peeled* and finey choooped
    1 large can tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, peeled an chooped
    2 cups (1/2 ltr) bouillon
    1 tbsp paprika powder
    2 ozs (50 g) paprika paste
    1 tbsp Worchester sauce
    Tabasco sauce or 1-2 fresh red chilipeppers

    8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
    1 cup grated parmesan

    Brown the meat, onion, garlic, and sweet pepper - and the fresh red chilipeppers if want
    Saute until the onions are translucent and add paprika paste to caramelize softly.
    Add tomatoes and bouillon. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens 30 - 40 minutes. Add salt, black pepper (freshly ground), Worchester sauce and Tabasco.

    * to peel the sweet pepper is better for eupepsy

    In the meantime -- cook spaghetti until almost done."


    1. Tthe pasta chatta could be pasticiatta -- Italian style pot roast. OR, pasticiotti -- little custard pastries.

      1. Hi - I realize this was posted a while back but I also remember the great pasta sauce, the pastaciatta, and an amazing roast chicken with lots of fragrant herbs. My dad did the same thing. He wasn't Italian himself but he was a volunteer fireman and was almost always invited. I would love to hear what your recreation of the sauce was. As for the pastaciatta, I remember it was also in red sauce and I also remember it had cloves in it. The chicken was either baked or roasted with tons of herbs. Try as I may, I have never been able to replicate that taste. However, a couple of suggestions - the Italian American club was actually called the Italian American Mutual Aid Society (IAMAS). You might be able to put that in a search engine and contact members or former members. And, most Ridgefield Italians were from the Marchegianni area (Ancona). You may be able to track down some regional recipes from Italy.
        Seeing this post just warmed my heart. What great memories of fantastic food...

        1 Reply
        1. I grew up there and have made the italian roast beef (pastaciatta) many times. I will find the exact recipe and post it soon. It is easy to make and comes out just like the club

          2 Replies
          1. re: keelerjoe

            I don't know if the spelling is correct, but I used to go to all of the men's dinners at the Ridgefield CT Italian club. It is made using an eye of the round with a lot of garlic, salt, pepper, cloves and then sliced and cooked more with crushed tomatoes poured over the top. It comes out tender and delicious. I will look for the exact recipe and post it soon

            1. re: keelerjoe

              Did you ever post this recipe??? My mom used to make this and we want to make it for Easter Sunday but she passed away not leaving me a recipe, can you post it??? Please?? HELP!!

            2. I don't know about the "pasta chatta", but salt pork is similar to guanciale. I've never used salt pork bought in the US, so I don't know how salty it is, but the pork fat flavor is key to an amatriciana sauce, the base of which is guanciale with tomatoes and a bit of onion, so there is certainly that precedent.

              'Guanciale' is the pig's cheek/jowl fat (whereas 'pancetta' is the belly fat used for American bacon and 'lardo' is the back or other fat when cured). Seasoned 'lardo' is sliced and eaten on crostini or bruschetta, or used like bacon to protect, moisten, and flavor other foods while cooking. Fresh, rendered lard is not called 'lardo', but "strutto", just to cover all the pig fat bases.