Ford City catering business welcomes family from across the globe
A Mano’s Pasta Artisanal Pastas & Catering is enjoying a healthy serving of food and family this holiday season as the Ford City business welcomes relatives from across the globe.
The pasta shop at 717 Sixth Ave. was filled with bilingual chatter Thursday afternoon. Roberta Mantini, 23, and Arianna Tale 21, laughed and joked with A Mano owner and operator Angelo Mantini, 28.
The Italian cousins are visiting from the Marche region of Italy through the end of the year. On their first trip to the United States, they are brushing up on their English and learning about business while Angelo is learning old-world cooking secrets.
“It’s a great thing,” Angelo said. “They get to learn the language — and they all know food.”
Cousins several times removed, the girls’ great-grandfather, Virgilio, was the brother of Angelo’s great-grandfather, Augusto. Augusto immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Ford City, Angelo said.
Angelo met his Italian Mantini family by chance on a trip to Italy in 2009. He had gone to visit relatives on his grandmother’s side of the family and planned to stay in Italy for three months.
“But I had a whole Mantini family tree, it was wild,” he said. “I ended up staying for three years, because I made all these connections. Basically, it’s my thank you to them.”
For the two Italian cousins, who come from families of restaurant owners and olive oil and wine makers, visiting America has already proved interesting, with trips to Ford City’s popular Stanley’s bar for hot sausage sandwiches and a jaunt out into Amish country.
“We haven’t finished our experience here but we’ve seen so many things,” Tale said with Angelo translating. “It’s all so different from here to there. There are wonderful things we have here and wonderful things they have there.”
Differences between Angelo’s world and their own, the Italians note, are varied dining options like Indian and Thai and eating dinner before 9 p.m. “And they eat pasta everyday for lunch,” Angelo said.
Fortunately for them, their American cousin’s food is something of a taste of home.
“It’s very good,” Roberta said. “That’s why we’re gaining weight. It’s very, very good.”
Angelo, in turn, is delighted with his cousins’ cooking skills. They have been making tortellini, bread and biscotti at A Mano. And Roberta, he said, makes an amazing carbonara.
Angelo and his parents, Eric and Cindy Mantini of Manor, will be opening their homes to a few more relatives. Later this month two more will join them around Thanksgiving.
“And they’re all food-oriented, so I can’t wait,” Angelo said.
Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315 or [email protected].