Baking cookies is a labor of love for many of those devoted to St. Joseph. This time of year, volunteers spend hundreds of hours making Italian cookies for area St. Joseph altars built to honor the saint. It takes time and organization to produce the many cookies that visitors expect to taste and see when they visit an altar. The bakers gladly acce...

Each year, hundreds of people gather at the Hilton Riverside Grand Ballroom to dig into a giant bowl of pasta and kick off the pre-party of the annual Italian American Marching Club St. Joseph Parade. The pasta will be served on March 17 at noon from a bowl that stretches 8 feet wide and holds 500 pounds of pasta and more than 150 gallons of meatle...

Mount Carmel Academy honor student Aubrie St. Germain will reign as queen of the 47th annual Italian American Marching Club's St. Joseph Parade on Saturday, March 18. The parade rolls at 6 p.m. and winds its way from the Convention Center through the French Quarter. The 17-year-old Metairie resident has been training for this regal role practically...

Debbie Pigno delivering Italian cookies to Giovanna Clausen for the Independence Italian Cultural Museum cookie sale in conjunction with the Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival. The festival began Friday and runs throughout the weekend with food and live entertainment in downtown Independence. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. t...

The following parishes, schools and entities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans will host St. Joseph Altars. The tradition, which is Sicilian and Roman Catholic in origin but is carried on locally by Italian-Americans and people of all nationalities and faiths, includes baking cookies and cakes and preparing foods for the altar. The offerings accomp...

National Meatball Day falls on Thursday (March 9) and Thursdays were always the day of the week when my Sicilian grandmother made red gravy. Often, she would stew young hens in tomato gravy, but sometimes she'd make meatballs. In fact, she had a special pot, which we were not allowed to use for anything else. (I boiled water in it to make a big pit...

There are many types of Italian restaurants in New Orleans, including down-home Creole-Italian joints, classic trattorias with Sicilian roots and rustic, Northern Italian-inspired eateries. At Altamura, there's an East Coast influence, as the elegant new restaurant from ManhattanJack duo Jack Petronella and chef Coleman Jernigan pays tribute to spo...

Jack Petronella has never been to Altamura in Southern Italy. But he knew he had family there. That's the town his grandparents left in the 1900s to immigrate to New York. When Petronella, who also owns the bakery Manhattanjack, opened an Italian restaurant in the Magnolia Mansion last summer, he called it Altamura to honor his grandparents. "My gr...

Northwestern Opera Theater will present "Amore senza fine" Monday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Friedman Student Union Ballroom. Tickets are $10. Admission is free for Northwestern State, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students with a current student I.D."Amore senza fine" is an operatic journey exploring love, fidelity...

Johnny Giavotella has played at all levels of baseball in his young 29 years, and he will soon add one more to the list.  The New Orleans area native has committed to play for Team Italy in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, in what will be the fourth year of the international competition. Giavotella prepped at Jesuit High School in New Orleans,...