It is no secret that Pope Francis used to prepare his own food—usually simple and frugal meals—when he was still the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Even if he was often invited to parties or celebrations such as birthdays and restaurant blessings, he would still prefer a simple bowl of soup that he would prepare in his kitchen.
Pope Francis first learned how to cook in the kitchen that served as the heart of the Bergoglio family’s home. “I think my parents bought our house because of its large kitchen,” the Pope’s sister, Maria Elena Bergoglio, said in a La Repubblica interview.
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“I remember when Sundays were sacred,” the Pope has said. “First, we would celebrate Mass at the San Jose church, and after this, we had rich, bountiful, and endless lunches that had five, six, or seven courses, and then sweet desserts. We were poor then, but we were dignified, and we always held this dear because to us, it was the Italian tradition.”
According to Maria, their mother, a great cook, would make fresh cappelleti with ragu, risotto alla piemontese (a dish made from rice and parmigiana reggiano), and delicious oven-roasted chicken. She got creative and invented ways to prepare leftovers—because her husband wasn’t a fan of repeated dishes!
Surely, the young Pope Francis always had a full belly every Sunday at the Bergoglio home!