A Family Tradition, Alive and Well

Rodger Ballati and Bobbie Morgan have called Lafayette home for 49 and 24 years, respectively! But they also have a second home in their hearts, and it's called Italy! The couple spends every September in Italy. Around 100 years ago, Bobbie's grandparents immigrated from Sicily as small children. Rodger's grandparents immigrated from Tuscany and Torino as children. They are unaware of any relatives still there, but something very special has survived — the family's recipes for ravioli, fillings, and sauce. The extended family gets together to make a huge batch every holiday season for fun and to keep family traditions alive.

Bobbie says, "The recipe for the filling combines my grandmother's recipe and my daughter Apryl"s grandmother-in-law's recipe. My daughter married a Sicilian whose family I have known and been friends with since childhood. Hence, we use their recipe also. We make a traditional recipe which contains beef, veal, pork, eggs, spinach, and various spices."

When Bobbie says "we," she refers to her two daughters, two granddaughters, and her great-granddaughter. "So, there are four generations! A couple of close friends also participate!"

Bobbie continues, "Together, we make approximately 3500 pieces of ravioli! It varies yearly, but it's usually around that amount. I count every board and keep a running total. It's fun at the end of the day after I total the amount because everyone guesses what this year's total will be.

After they are frozen, we put them in large zip-lock bags and share the fruits of our labor. The main reason we make ravioli is that it is our traditional Christmas Day dinner. I'm proud to say I've never had a Christmas dinner without our ravioli. Our family is very traditional."

She says, "It is so special to continue with these traditions and to pass them on to future generations. I still make the delicious traditional Bolognese sauce that goes with the ravioli. I make a huge pot of the sauce and have some in the freezer year-round for a quick pasta feast.

The origin of this famous Italian staple food dates back to the 14th century! We thank Bobbie and her family for sharing their family story.

Special thanks to Stella Tsakonas and Stephanie Mull for sponsoring our Meet Our Neighbor story.