Cobbled together from staples, this dish pays homage to tasty and thrifty Sicilian cuisine. Caramelized onions and anchovies marry sweet and salty, and garlic-laced breadcrumbs contribute a pleasingly crisp, crumbly texture.
The recipe for the make-ahead tomato sauce came from a Neapolitan farmer. He readies it before dawn to "cook" before heading out to the fields; throughout the day, the flavors of the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and basil all meld together.
Before the flicker of holiday candles gilds the rooms, before the trill of tearing gift wrap fills the air, before the shopping is even finished, the smell of Christmas wafts through Ron Suhanosky and Colleen Marnell-Suhanosky's New York City apartment. The aromas from homemade potpourris announce the season's arrival, and it starts, as it should, in the heart of the Suhanosky home: the kitchen. The owners of two Italian bistros -- the homey Sfoglia on Nantucket, in Massachusetts, and its more polished namesake in New York -- the Suhanoskys are also a study in alchemy. Where he is crisp and efficient, she is effusive and warm. He does savory; she does sweet. His family is Hungarian, Polish, and Italian; hers is Sicilian and French. When they bring together their family traditions, as they did last year for Christmas at the New York Sfoglia, the result is magical.