Josie's Ta'Ano

This treasured family recipe comes to us from Marion Aradio, who writes: First the story…My dad, Joseph Aradio (born 1910) grew up very poor with his childhood and closest friend, Jasper in the mostly Italian/Sicilian community in Rockford, IL. . They remained fast friends all their lives, through thick and thin, sorrows and celebrations. Jasper married an “angel” named Josie and she passed on this recipe with a warm heart and well wishes to everyone. I remember when my mom Lucy and Josie used to make this recipe together late at night before Easter Sunday and I watched, wide eyed with anticipation … almost better than Easter Sunday itself..!!


  • Ingredients
  • 1-2 cups of homemade chicken soup (clear broth only) Made from cooking a whole or half chicken, and adding salt, carrots, onions.
  • 2 pounds cooked, ground Italian sausage, made from nice pork shoulder, fennel, fresh ground black pepper, a little salt.
  • 3 dozen eggs medium size
  • 1 - 1 1/2 pounds cooked large Rigatoni (cooked in chicken broth) Let the pasta absorb most of the soup-NOT mushy, VERY al dente.
  • 2 pounds sliced Tuma cheese
  • 1 pound grated Pecorino Romano cheese.


  1. Beat together eggs and grated Romano cheese.
  2. Grease deep, wide, big Pyrex bowl with butter or olive oil. (Deep is important)
  3. Spread layer of Rigatoni, and then ground sausage
  4. Dip tuma cheese slices in egg mix and add as the next layer.
  5. Repeat the process.
  6. Cover the top layer with tuma cheese and the remaining mix.
  7. To get a browner crust, make a small hole in the center and add 1-2 cups of the homemade chicken soup.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours and check often to make sure ta'ano is not too dry.
  9. Cover with foil if top gets too brown. Check with a sharp knife, it should come out clean and dry.
  10. Note: Very important to use the large size Rigatoni. The Ta'Ano must not come out dry...It should be like Lasagna after it's been in the fridge over night. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.
  11. The side dish was caramelized onion mixed in with steamed dandelion greens (with the flowers) from the back yard, or shigaudia (phonetic spelling) a chard that grew wild in our back yard (kind of like beet tops) steamed and drizzled with olive oil and red pepper flakes. 
  12. Apples were plenty and cheap, so they were sliced and baked plain with cinnamon sprinkled on top.
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I am confused about the pasta cooked in broth–how much broth should be used so that the pasta absorbs it but remains very al dente? Cooking 1-1.5 lbs pasta usually requires 4-6 quarts boiling salted water, which is discarded once the pasta is al dente.
(I assume the 1-2 cups broth listed in the ingredients is for adding to the center of the dish to achieve a browner crust, as noted in the directions.)

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