Primo Magazine, Nov.-Dec. 2008, pg 57

"Always on Sunday" covers many days in Marcia Russotto's life growing up in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.

Russotto has a lot of love for her small town. Her sentences are tributes to a time and place that are increasingly and regrettably lost to America.

"Sharpsburg was a close knit, small community where mostly everyone knew everyone else. There was no need to be fearful of walking the streets, day or night. Our boundaries were delineated by blocks and street numbers. 'Don't go past Eighth Street... Don't go past the church...'"

The town was and remains predominantly Italian, with most families claiming heritage from the Calabria region of Italy. Russotto's book is one part cookbook where we sample some amazing recipes from the tip of Italy's boot.

There is lentil soup made with pancetta; pasta fagioli with red beans, and a soup named in part after her father, called Pug's Minest' with sausages and escarole. The main course is pasta such as ravioli, manicotti and pastina and ricotta. Cookies are savory Italian treats such as pizzelles, sesame cookies and Italian knots, a main ingredient is anise.

Russotto learned cooking from her Italian grandmother. She and her family lived upstairs. Her grandmother's kitchen was small but provided the family with ample food, always wholesome and delicious.

"First and foremost were the loaves of crusty bread and small sandwich buns...Next were her pizzas...The Calabrese claimed 'white pizza' long before anyone had heard of it. Nana drizzled the dough with olive oil until it glistened and topped it with black cured olives, oregano, and parmesan cheese. So simple and yet absolutely perfect."

Perhaps the best part of "Always on Sunday" is Russotto's tribute to her mother Mary Jane and all Italian mothers. She inquired among friends in Sharpsburg about what they learned from their mothers. It is a thoughtful and powerful example of the unique bond between mothers and daughters.

From Maryann Pugliesewe read, "...She displayed her unconditional love and taught me about the love Jesus had for me." From Donna Litzinger Coticchia".. .My mother could always find the good in people. There were no strangers to her, just friends she hadn't met yet." From Sheila Pugliese Demare"...She allowed me to express rather than suppress my feelings. I never had to search for my soul because I already liked the one I had."

Such are the treasures of Russotto's timeless capsule of a town and people that gave her the foundation to rebuke life's challenges and cherish its glories. Hers is a true Italian story that all Italian Americans can enjoy, because in some way or another we too have lived it.