Aiello Italian Specialties
A Family Legacy
Aiello Italian Specialties was founded in 2016 by Chef and Artist, Tommaso Antonino Aiello, with the simple desire to honor his family's legacy by sharing this time honored traditional Tomato Basil sauce, which has been and continues to be loved by so many. Although an alumnus of the celebrated culinary institute, Le Cordon Bleu, he has been cooking and baking for most of his life. Growing up and seeing first hand the reactions of people that have tasted the sauce and emphatically enjoyed it, giving compliments like "liquid Italian gold" and "it's so good you could drink it!", he decided it was time to market this delicious old world treasure. The logo and brand name were designed to honor Mariantonia, or "Nonni" as she was so
affectionately called by her family, and to connect this lovely woman and her family to one of the finest Italian products available. The family recipe has been handed down from generation to generation for more than a century; our unique and special process which gives our sauce its distinctive flavor and aroma, being completely unchanged. Our sauce emanates the fragrances of the Mediterranean and the fresh taste reflects the high quality ingredients that are an essential part of our small batch production, making it stand out from other sauces on the market. Great care is taken with producing each batch of sauce, stirring with a wooden spoon and gently simmering for hours; the same way it has always been done since it was first lovingly handcrafted in the small southern Italian village of Serrata, in Provincia di Reggio Calabria, more than a century ago.
From the beauty of southern Italy to your table
Dalla bellezza del Sud Italia alla vostra tavola
The Aiello family left their small village of Serrata, in Reggio Calabria, and emigrated to America in late 1929, departing the port of Napoli for New York, traveling 3rd class, and finally settling in Northern New Jersey, first in Newark, then later, Nutley. The patriarch of the family, farmer, and a Cavaliere (Knight) of the Order of Vittorio Veneto (having fought for the Kingdom of Italy during the Great War), Domenico Aiello, had emigrated a few years prior to secure work and to get everything in order for the rest of his family to join him. They took with them their strong Orthodox Catholic faith, the old world rustic traditions of southern Italy, and their love of cooking, baking, wine making, farming, and of course their passion for feeding others.
The old world traditions of southern Italy followed Domenico and Mariantonia, as well as their children, in their new life in America. This beautiful and simple way of life, this Italian identity, never left them. Preparing and cooking the sauce, or "fresh tomato gravy", was an all weekend affair. The tomatoes and basil were freshly grown in the back yard and lovingly tended to. The sauce was gently simmered for hours and was then put into sterilized mason jars for proper storage. Large quantities were made throughout the summertime to last through the autumn and winter months. The process from start to finish was truly a labor of love! Our family's process for cooking the sauce has not changed since it was first made and this is one of the special reasons why our sauce is so fresh tasting, aromatic, delicious, and vibrantly red.
Domenico and Mariantonia's son, Antonino Francesco Aiello (born in 1919 in Serrata, Reggio Calabria), married Clara Di Marco (born in 1920 in Nutley, New Jersey), in August 1942. As the family continued to grow, so did their timeless legacy. Clara, being the daughter of immigrants from Napoli, naturally learned a great deal not only from her parents while growing up in a southern Italian household, but also from her Mother- In-Law, Mariantonia. She would play a major role in continuing the traditional production of our family's treasured sauces (which there are several varieties, including a squid sauce), long after Nonni's death in 1966. This timeless treasure has continued into the present day and still fully entices everyone with its beautiful aroma, vibrant red color, versatility, and
fresh unique taste! There have been many instances where people just could not help themselves and have either eaten straight from the jar or went right into the pot for it! Now that's what you call liquid Italian gold!
Mariantonia Aiello (née Gatto), or "Nonni" as she was called by her family, was born in the small village of Serrata, Reggio Calabria, in 1897. She married Domenico Aiello (born in 1888 in Serrata, Reggio Calabria), in March 1919. The Gatto family were the original creators of this flavorful sauce and it became regularly made in the Aiello family, making it a precious treasure in our broad family history. Our family has been making this sauce the same way for more than a century. This beloved sauce, which came from humble beginnings in southern Italy, has retained its humble, elegant, and rustic characteristics that so many find irresistible!
Tommaso Antonino Aiello (born in 1991 in Pequannock, New Jersey), is the great grandson of Domenico and Mariantonia Aiello and the grandson of Antonino Francesco and Clara Aiello. He has passionately continued the centuries old family legacy; preserving the old world southern Italian identity, which is held close to his heart. His value of history and love of family tradition is what drives him to make these amazing products available for everyone to enjoy with their families!
Church of San Pantaleone Martire, Comune di Serrata, Reggio Calabria