Carmela's story began as a young child of Italians who had immigrated to New York City in the early 20th Century. They lived on Murray Street with thousands of other immigrants in crowded tenements and streets that are now the fashionable World Trade Center district of lower Manhattan. Carmela's mother shopped daily from pushcarts that were freshly loaded with produce from the farms of upstate New York and New Jersey. These are like the fresh and natural ingredients we use to make Carmela's Marinara sauces today.
When I was a baby, every Sunday we went to Nanna Carmela's for 2:00 o'clock dinner. This most important family-shared homemade meal of the week included 3 courses plus dessert. The second course was always a pasta flavored with one of Nanna's tomato sauces that took all day to simmer to perfection. While Nanna cooked, I stood on a chair and watched so that I can now bring you the same special sauces that have been passed down by memory for generations.