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Anthonino’s Taverna Owners Named Restaurateurs of the Year

at the top-rated culinary program at St. Louis Community College. Anthony further fortified his expertise with a business degree from Saint Louis University. This solid educational foundation laid the groundwork for the success of Anthonino’s Taverna. When creating Anthonino’s Taverna, the Scarato brothers drew inspiration from the rich heritages of both their parents. With a mother born in Greece and a father whose roots trace back to Italy, the restaurant’s menu is a heartfelt homage to the flavors of their upbringing. Many of the recipes featured are cherished dishes from their family table. In expressing their gratitude, Anthony and Rosario extend heartfelt thanks to their wives, Katie and Cindy, their families, and the dedicated staff who have played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining the excellence of Anthonino’s Taverna. Anthony Scarato remarks, “We look forward to continuing a legacy that is truly an asset to the community and city.” In addition to serving up great food, Anthonino’s Taverna gives back to its community through the GiftAMeal program. Each time a guest takes a photo on the free GiftAMeal app of their Anthonino’s order, a donation is made to Operation Food Search to help provide a meal to a family in need locally. Since joining in 2015 as one of the first restaurants on the program, Anthonino’s has helped provide over 6,500 meals locally. Over the past three years, Anthoninos

The Missouri Restaurant Association has selected Anthony and Rosario Scarato, respectively, owners of Anthonino’s Taverna, as the 2023 Restaurateurs of the Year. This prestigious recognition pays tribute to their dedication, culinary expertise, and contribution to the vibrant dining scene in St. Louis. Anthonino’s Taverna, a culinary gem blending Italian and Greek cuisines, opened its doors in 2003 under the leadership of the Scarato brothers. Their culinary journey traces back to their early years. Before establishing Anthonino’s Taverna, they gained invaluable experience working alongside their father, Robert “Bob” Scarato, who, in the 1980s, pioneered the Athens Cafe, a quick-service Greek restaurant with multiple locations. Both brothers honed their skills

St. Louis, Missouri 63123



has partnered with Backstoppers through the Karen Cares organization, donating over $10,000. Hosting two dinners where a portion of the proceeds were given directly to Backstoppers. This year, they launched a new initiative selling their frozen pizzas at Schnucks, contributing $1 per pizza sold during select months to Backstoppers. Anthonino’s Taverna stands not only as a culinary haven but also as a testament to the Scarato brothers’ commitment to their craft and the community they serve. The Restaurateurs of the Year award is a fitting acknowledgment of their outstanding contributions to the Missouri dining landscape.

“SEMPREVERDE: EVERGREEN” Thousands of Students Learn Italian at the Theater With Original Edumusicals

Incanto Productions Company is thrilled to announce the reopening of “SEMPREVERDE: EVERGREEN,” a bilingual (Italian-English) edu-musical designed for schools and families. The production is scheduled to open on March 13, 2024, at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, located at NJ 07748. Continued on page 5

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Continued from page 1 Additionally, it will run from March 19–20 at the Playgroup Theatre, March 21–22 at the Queens Theater in the Park, April 2–3 at the Bayway Art Center, and April 4 at the Suffolk Theatre. These performances are expected to be attended by thousands of students and will provide them with a unique opportunity to experience a learning-through-music and theater-methodological approach. This edutainment format, which has engaged over eighty thousand students since 2008, is a collaboration with the Italian American Committee on Education (IACE) of New York (an organization that operates under the General Consulate of Italy in New York) and the Italian Heritage Culture Month, Inc. Written and directed by the award-winning internationally-renowned singer and actress Simona Rodano, “SEMPREVERDE: EVERGREEN” is dedicated to addressing two vital subjects that impact humanity: the environment and the importance of recycling. It can be described as a fusion of science and environmental science, providing educators with a valuable tool to align the edu-musical with their curriculum. This Off-Broadway-scale performance showcases a talented ensemble. Noteworthy roles feature Simona Rodano as Sempreverde, Giuseppe Agostaro as the Newsie, and Pasqualino Beltempo as Spreco. Lead dancers include Giorgia Picano and Emanuele Fiore, while Arianna Stendardo shines as an actress, singer, and dancer. Greta Rolandi graces the stage as a dancer, and Jasmine Cicchino adds flair as an acrobat and dancer. The musical composition is by Punto Rec Studios (Torino, Italy), with lyrics and melodies crafted by Simona Rodano. Giorgia Picano skillfully choreographs, while the sets are designed by the accomplished actor and visual artist, Johna Mancini, renowned for his work in Federico Fellini’s 1983 film, “And the Ship Sails On.” “We are thrilled to bring an educational and multicultural show to schools and families along with the timeless messages of embracing different cultures and languages, protecting the environment and learning through music and theater” - Simona Rodano, Incanto Productions, CEO. “Promoting the Italian language and culture to the new generations is the key to open a valuable exchange and interest for Italy. Our collaboration with Incanto Productions has always been successful and the number of teachers and students that enjoy their theatrical works increase every year” - Ilaria Costa, Executive Director Italian American Committee on Education ( IACE). “I recommend it to anyone. The show is exhilarating, dynamic, visually rich, incredibly informative for every age group. You will be enriched by it and you will recycle!” - Ms. Maria Saldaña, Directing Coordinator for The Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, Suitland High School, Forestville, MD “Actors, singers and dancers, for the children watching Sempreverde, are not only simple artists anymore, but unforgettable messengers of languages and cultures” - Annavaleria Guazzieri,

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Former Director of the Education Of ice of the Consulate General of Italy in New York. “I could not have been more proud that Incanto Productions once again brought a unique show to Queens Theatre in NYC. Simona Rodano and her team have an uncommon level of passion and creativity. The students and community members who see this show will have a memorable educational experience.” - Taryn Sacramone, Managing Director at the Queens Theatre, NY.

owners, church ladies, teachers, and others who made Mill Creek into a warm, tight-knit African-American community. In her own words, “This memoir is about survival, as told from the viewpoint of a watchful young girl—a collection of decidedly universal stories that chronicle the extraordinary lives of ordinary people.” This program is free, with limited availability in person and on Zoom. Reservations must be made in advance at fieldhousemuseum.org/events/programs.

About Incanto Productions, Corp. Since 2008, Incanto Productions, a NYC Queens-based theater company, specializes in multicultural and multilingual productions for schools and families and is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages for all ages at all levels of instruction. With over 80,000 young patrons attending in the NYC Tri-State Area, other Off-Broadwaysize shows include “Pinocchio, The Italian Musical” by I Pooh, “Italian, The Magical World of The Italian Fairy,” “Seven Worlds,” Pinocchio Pop, and “Treasure Hunt: Caccia Al Tesoro.”

About the Speaker Vivian Gibson grew up in Mill Creek Valley, a segregated working-class neighborhood of St. Louis that was razed in 1959 to build a highway, an act of racism disguised under urban renewal as “progress.” The three rooms of her childhood home were heated by a wood-burning stove; her family had no hot water, but what Gibson lacked in material comforts she made up for in imagination. She started writing short stories about her childhood memories after retiring at age sixty-six. Her work has been produced as part of 50in50: Writing Women into Existence at the Billie Holliday Theater in Brooklyn and published in The St. Louis Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2019). She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

For tickets and more information contact us at: incanto@incantoproductions.com or call 1-888-300-3357 March 13, 2024 New Brunswick Performing Arts Center New Brunswick , New Jersey Shows at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. March 19-20, 2024 The Play Group Theatre White Plains, New York Shows at 9:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. March 21-22, 2024 The Queens Theatre in The Park Queens , New York Shows at 9:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. April 2-3, 2024 The Bayway Arts Center East Islip, New York Shows at 9:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. April 4, 2024 The Suffolk Theatre Riverdale, New York Shows at 9:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Author Talk: The Last Children of Mill Creek

Program: Author Talk: Enslavement and the Underground Railroad in Missouri and Illinois Venue: Field House Museum, 634 South Broadway, Saint Louis, MO 63102 Date: Friday, February 16 at 1 p.m. Cost: Free; Reservations Required The Field House Museum is pleased to welcome Vivian Gibson, author of the book “The Last Children of Mill Creek,” on Friday, February 16 at 1 p.m. Her memoir chronicles the everyday lived experiences of her large family and the friends, shop

About the Field House Museum The Field House Museum is a dynamic museum and historic site focused on the Field family. The historic house, currently closed for renovation, tells the story of Roswell Field, noted St. Louis attorney, and his son, Eugene Field, the “Poet of Childhood.” While living on Walsh’s Row, Roswell Field became the key attorney in the Dred & Harriet Scott Freedom Suit, formulating the legal strategy that propelled the case to federal court. The house is designated a National Historic Landmark and has an attached museum featuring the Field House Museum’s collections and rotating exhibits. Visitor Information Admission: Adults: $10; children 7–16: $5; members and children 6 and under: free Museum Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sunday noon–4 p.m. For general information, call 314-421-4689, email us at info@fieldhousemuseum.org, or visit our website at fieldhousemuseum.org.

Stray Dog Theatre Presents Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap

Stray Dog Theatre (SDT) is excited to kick off its twenty-first season with a production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at the Tower Grove Abbey, opening on Thursday, February 1, 2024, and running through Saturday, February 17, 2024. The Mousetrap made its world premiere on October 6, 1952, at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. After a brief tour, it opened in London’s West End at the Ambassadors Theatre on November 25. Directed by Peter Cotes, the play Continued on page 6

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Continued from page 5 ran at the Ambassador until March 23, 1974, when it immediately transferred to the larger St. Martin’s Theatre, next door, where it continues to this day. Having run consistently from 1952 to the present, The Mousetrap is the world’s longest-running play. The Mousetrap was written by Agatha Christie. The Mousetrap is presented through a special arrangement with Concord Theatricals Corp. The Mousetrap synopsis: An Agatha Christie classic. As news spreads of a murder in London, seven eccentric strangers find themselves snowed in at a remote countryside guesthouse. A police sergeant unexpectedly arrives, concerned that the murderer at large may be one of the guests at the Manor. One by one, the suspicious guests begin to reveal their sordid pasts. Show Times: February 1–17, 2024 Thursdays–Saturdays at 8 p.m. Additional performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 11. Venue: Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63104; Gated Parking Tickets: Adults $35, Seniors (65+), and Students $30 (Cash, Checks, and All Major Credit Cards) Additional Information and Ticket Reservations: Call (314) 865-1995 or visit straydogtheatre.org Accessible Performances ASL Interpretation: The 2/2, 2/9, and 2/16 performances will be presented with ASL interpretation by students from Southwestern Illinois College. ASLinterpreted performances are suitable for audience members who are deaf, deafened, or have hearing loss. They can also be valuable for people who are learning ASL. SDT is a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3), professional theatre company and is funded, in part, by Area Resources for Community and Human Services; Arts and Education Council; BioRankings; City of Saint Louis Recreation Division; City of Saint Louis Youth and Family Division; DCA Family Foundation; Emerson; Flooring Systems, Inc.; Garden View Care Centers; Hesse Martone, P.C.; John and Susan Brands Foundation; Kathie and Richard Winter; Leon and Mary Strauss Charitable Foundation; Mike Maskus and Cathy Augustin; Missouri Arts Council; Missouri Department of Economic Development; Dr. Morton J. Singer and Mark Schaefring; National Endowment for the Arts; Peggy and Mark Holly; Regional Arts Commission; Saint Louis Public Schools; Tower Grove East Neighborhood Association; United 4 Children; U.S. Department of the Treasury; and Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts. This project is supported by federal award number 21.027 awarded to the city of St. Louis by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and Missouri Arts Council.



NIAF and Iconic Producer De Laurentiis Open Applications for Inaugural Film Prizes

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and acclaimed Italian producer Aurelio De Laurentiis are now accepting applications for the inaugural NIAF/De Laurentiis Film Prizes. Established in 2023, this annual grant program provides critical funding and mentorship opportunities to emerging filmmakers looking to tell compelling stories about Italian and Italian American experiences. “We are excited to finally launch the application process for these transformative film prizes,” said NIAF President Robert Allegrini. “In partnership with the legendary Aurelio De Laurentiis, we are eager to discover the next generation of creative talents ready to bring these culturally resonant stories to life on screen.” The NIAF/De Laurentiis Film Prizes will award five talented applicants with a $10,000 production grant. Grantees can utilize the funding to produce short documentary, narrative, fiction, and nonfiction films that capture the richness of Italian or Italian American heritage and culture. The five award-winning films will premiere at the NIAF 50th Anniversary Gala in Washington D.C., in October 2025. The best overall film will be announced at the Gala dinner, where the filmmaker will receive an additional $10,000 prize and an exclusive mentorship opportunity with Aurelio De Laurentiis and his team. “NIAF is looking forward to discovering the creative and visionary projects that will arise from this program,” added Allegrini. “We aim to propel promising filmmakers on their path to cinematic success.” Applications for the 2024 NIAF/De Laurentiis Film Prizes are open through March 1, 2024. Full eligibility criteria, guidelines, and the online application can be found at NIAF.org. Filmmakers worldwide are encouraged to apply. About Aurelio De Laurentiis Aurelio De Laurentiis is an award-winning Italian film producer and owner of the film production company Filmauro and has produced and distributed more than 400 films. He is the chairman of S.S.C. Napoli football club and currently resides in Rome, Italy. De Laurentiis joined the NIAF board in 2022.

4 Valentine’s Date Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank by Courtney Kamm

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means most people are starting to stock up on chocolates, flowers, and cards for their loved ones. Did you know that the average consumer will spend over $190 on their Valentine this year? For a holiday that most consider a “Hallmark Holiday,” that is a lot of money! Instead Continued on page 8



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Continued from page 6 of breaking the bank this year, we’ve rounded up our four favorite ways to spend Valentine’s Day this year that’ll cost you almost nothing! Make your own chocolate candies! Forget the overpriced boxes of chocolate and instead spend time together in the kitchen, covering all your favorite treats— strawberries, pretzels, marshmallows, and more. Head to Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company on The Hill to get your melting chocolate! Play a homemade trivia game! See how much your Valentine really knows about you by asking them a set of trivia questions about yourself. Who knows? You might even learn something new! Go geocaching together! Geocaching is one big treasure hunt using a GPS-enabled device, aka your phone. Just download the app and start hunting together for free! Find a free concert! Local bars and restaurants often have live music on weekends and holidays. Eat dinner at home beforehand, and then head out to enjoy an after-dinner cocktail or dessert while you listen to live music. Some of our favorite spots to see live music include Milo’s Tavern and Olivia on the Hill!

Special Me by Courtney Kamm

While recently on a Royal Caribbean cruise, our publisher, Carina Marino, connected with another passenger on the ship who had quite the story to tell. Jacqueline Schietroma Pace is an ItalianAmerican and the author of “Special Me.”

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“Special Me” is a childhood memoir that empowers children to be more confident in themselves and their bodies. A true story about Jacqueline, the book portrays a young girl with a scar on her neck who learns the true meaning of friendship and self-esteem. Through her interactions with other children, the main character benefits from their kindness and realizes that her scars do not define her. You can purchase “Special Me” now on Amazon.

Jacqueline Schietroma Pace and Carina Marino

Lucia’s Pizza Announces Winner of Free Trip to Italy and 44 Other Prizes Grand Prize Winner Visited Pizza Website and Ended Up Winning Trip of a Lifetime



Lucia’s Pizza (formerly known as Mama Lucia’s) – St. Louis’ Original St. Louis Style Frozen Pizza – today announced the grand prize winner and 44 instant winners of the Golden Slice Giveaway which started June 21, 2023 at St. Louis area Schnucks and Dierbergs locations and culminated on Dec. 31, 2023. The grand prize, a free trip to Italy, was won by Jim Kozeny, 59, of St. Louis County, who went to the Lucia’s Pizza website (luciaspizza.com) and decided to enter the contest to win a trip to Italy. Kozeny has never been out of the country, needs to get his first passport, and wants to start traveling more with his partner Marsha Hutson, 62. As a longtime consumer of Lucia’s Pizza (and the original Mama Lucia’s pizzas) Kozeny said he rarely has entered a sweepstakes and couldn’t believe he was selected randomly out of 1044 other entries. “I just figured no one ever won these things, so I was thrilled to hear from Lucia’s with the good news.” Kozeny is planning his trip now and will likely go in the summer or fall 2024 depending on his time off from work. Lucias’ travel agent will assist Kozeny and Hutson with their trip including booking flights, transfers and hotel stays valued at $5,000. In addition to the grand prize of the trip to Italy, Lucia’s placed 217 instant-win golden slices into all Lucia’s pizzas sold from June 21 to December 31 at Schnuck’s and Dierbergs. Of the 217 golden slices in circulation, 44 were redeemed for prizes Continued on page 10


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Continued from page 8 ranging from a trip to Branson, a signed Blues Jersey, a poker table, concert and baseball tickets, free Lucia’s for a year, pizza stones and pizza cutters. Winners were notified by email and by phone, and the majority of winners have claimed their prizes. Scott Ashby, Lucia’s president, said “We have always wanted to do a ‘Golden Ticket’ type of promotion and the time seemed right with the release of the new Willy Wonka film. Since our launch in 1981, we have sold 50 million pizzas, and now we are excited to take the brand to the next level. As competition in the frozen pizza category continues to increase, we want to ensure we are staying ahead of the other local and national brands, and rewarding our customers for their continued support and feedback. So thank you!” Founded in 1981 by Lucia Tumminello, Lucia’s Pizza (aka Mama Lucia’s Pizza) got its start as a word-ofmouth Hill neighborhood staple before becoming the first St. Louis-style frozen pizza available in grocery stores. Over the years, the brand has grown to include both its namesake frozen thin-crust pizzas and a line of 4-Hands Brewery-inspired pizzas, both of which have endeared themselves to the St. Louis community as a source of edible civic pride. Lucia’s has sold more than 50 million pizzas since 1981, is privately owned, and employs 70 St. Louisans in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility where it also produces frozen pizzas for other national brands.

NIAF Names Friuli Venezia Giulia as 2024 Region of Honor

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is pleased to announce Friuli Venezia Giulia as its designated Region of Honor for 2024. This picturesque area in northeastern Italy borders Austria, Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea and is renowned for its stunning Alpine landscape, seaports, medieval villages, prosciutto di San Daniele, Montasio cheese, winemaking and major industries. “NIAF is excited to celebrate the vibrant Friuli Venezia Giulia region this year through our programming,” said NIAF President Robert Allegrini. “From its proud history and cuisine to natural beauty and booming economic sectors like shipbuilding and steel, there are so many things that make this region exemplify Italian excellence.” The NIAF Board of Directors looks forward to its annual Mission to Italy trip to the region in June. During the trip the Board will meet with the President of the region, Massimiliano Fedriga and other regional government representatives as well as touring numerous cities. In addition, the region will play backdrop for NIAF’s Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program for 48 exceptional Italian American collegiate students this summer. Participants will immerse themselves in their roots and heritage in this dynamic border region shaped by Latin, Slavic, and Germanic influences over centuries.

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A delegation of the region will participate in the NIAF New York Gala on April 18th. The cultural treasures of Friuli Venezia Giulia will also take center stage at the NIAF Gala in Washington D.C., on October 26th when NIAF will commemorate its 49th Anniversary. The region will also be showcased throughout the year on NIAF’s social media and in its tri-annual Ambassador magazine publication. Friuli Venezia Giulia, an autonomous region, boasts the beautiful Carnic and Julian Alps and Adriatic beaches. Major economic sectors include shipbuilding and steel production. The regional capital Trieste is a cosmopolitan port city. With its special Free Port customs regulations, is a vital hub for global trade and commerce. It provides exclusive financial incentives to businesses operating within the Free Port zone. In particular, Trieste is the most important port worldwide for coffee trading and plays a pivotal role in facilitating trade with Northern and Eastern Europe. The strategic location and business-friendly policies of its Free Port have made Trieste an essential commercial center and economic engine for the region. Other main cities of the region include Udine, Pordenone and Gorizia. The area is home to prestigious universities like the University of Trieste and major global companies such as Fincantieri for the construction of the world’s largest cruise ships, Zanussi-Electrolux in the production of electrical appliances, Danieli, Eurotech, Illy coffee, Rizzani de Eccher, Solari di Udine, TBS Group, Banca Generali, Genertellife, Italia Marittima, Telit, Wärtsilä, Allianz Italia and Assicurazioni Generali in Trieste, a leading insurance company in the world. The official languages of the region are Italian, Friulian, Slovene and German. With its Alpine beauty, medieval architecture, and unique blend of cultures, Friuli Venezia Giulia exemplifies the best of Italian lifestyle and traditions. NIAF looks forward to celebrating this diverse northern Italian region all year long. Stay connected with NIAF to learn more about Friuli Venezia Giulia. About NIAF: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a nonprofit organization based in the United States that promotes the Italian culture and heritage. Founded in 1975, NIAF has been a leading advocate for Italian Americans, preserving their legacy and promoting their contributions to the United States.

Laccetti Foundation Announces Plans For 2024 submitted by Silvio Laccetti

The Silvio Laccetti Foundation has announced plans for a major project: The Pellarin Sun Dial for Union City, New Jersey. This initiative has many facets and components that complement one another in a grand program to highlight the arts of terrazzo and mosaic and to commemorate the important role of Vicenzo Pellarin in the transfer of technology, expertise, and artisans from Italy to the New World. The Foundation will present The City of Union City with a specially crafted



sundial measuring four feet in diameter, to be placed in Ellsworth Park. The site has particular significance because the family of Vincenzo Pellarin settled in Union City, where his son was a physician in the city school system for decades. That family home is situated opposite of Ellsworth Park on New York Avenue. The dedication is scheduled to coincide with Earth Day 2024 festivities. The Foundation is actively cooperating with The William Musto Cultural Center of Union City and the Mayor’s Office to involve the schools and the general public in various projects relating to the art of terrazzo. For example, students may engage in poster contests, essay writing, independent workshop activities and treasure hunts. This latter activity will uncover various places in the local area that showcase terrazzo workmanship. The Foundation hopes to inspire media coverage of as many activities as possible. Terrazzo is a mixture of stone, marble, glass, and quartz chips mixed into a bonding agent (mortar or special cement) that can be applied to various surfaces ranging from floors—Grand Central Station in NYC has fairly new such flooring—to walls and fixtures in homes and public buildings. The Hollywood Walk of Fame employs terrazzo for its star plaques. The mixing, application, curing, and polishing are subtle arts known only to the artisans, who to this day are trained in special schools like the Scuola Mosaicisti di Friuli in Spilimbergo, Italy. The Foundation hopes to open a line of communication between this special school and students from New Jersey. The Silvio Laccetti Foundation is widely known in New Jersey for bestowing its Garibaldi Award on high school students who excel in Italian studies and community accomplishments. Additionally, the Foundation is globally known for sponsoring three successful environmental WorldCast seminars for high school students across the planet, uniting high schools from the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, and Italy in real-time seminars. For readers of this article who have memorabilia or life experiences in the terrazzo-mosaics trade and wish to share this with the public, please contact lbarrrera@ucnj.com at the Musto Cultural Center.

Super Bowl Sunday Mediterranean Artichoke Dip an Il Pensiero favorite

Ingredients: 2 cans of artichokes 1 cup of mayonnaise 1 cup of Parmesan cheese Chop up artichokes and add the ingredients and mix together. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with your choice of cracker.



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