In this week’s Young & Hungry column, this Jersey girl gets all pissy that fellow Jersey boy Mike Isabella won’t put true Jersey-Italian dishes on his menu at Graffiato. “[It will have] very few,” says Isabella, whose forthcoming book, Flavors from a Jersey Italian, nonetheless glorifies the grub of the Garden State. “We’ll take some classics and rework them, like pork ragu and my grandmother’s gnocchi.” The book will not publish until fall of 2012, but I couldn’t wait to see what my Jersey-Italian friends back home thought about the promotion of Jersey-Italian cooking.

What defines Jersey-Italian cuisine?

” Penne vodka. I’m pretty sure that’s Jersey because when I was in Italy, I didn’t see that on the menu anywhere.”

-Maria Tortoreto, Communications Specialist


“Massive amounts of ricotta, mozzarella and my mom’s gravy.”

-Nick Gaudio, Senior Systems Engineer



I basically like anything that’s fried and has cheese on it.”

Gina D’Adamo Gallanada, Paralegal



Today, it’s not homemade. They call it [homemade], but they buy it from suppliers. I know for a fact. I know some guys.”

-Frank DelGozzo, Dad


(Photos by jshj/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license; Maria Tortoreto, Christina Gaudio, Michelle Crivella, Stefanie Gans)