Marcie Turney of Little Nonna’s would prepare a South Philly Sunday favorite for Pope Francis [video]

What would you cook up if you had the chance to serve dinner to Pope Francis? We asked some of the city’s top chefs to weigh in. Here’s what they said.

This is part four in a series.

Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

But when the pope comes to Philly, everyone’s cooking Italian.

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Chef Marcie Turney culled the best of what South Philly has to offer with Little Nonna’s rendition of Sunday Gravy “South Philly Style,” complete with sides of broccoli rabe and garlic bread.

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“[Gravy] is such a South Philly staple,” she said from the kitchen of her soon-to-open restaurant, Bud and Marilyn’s. “Where families get together on Sunday when they have macaroni.”

Turney prepared a twisted, fusilloni pasta and a meat gravy cooked with pork trotters “that give it body,” pork shoulder, and short rib. She also prepared meatballs  stuffed with fontina cheese.

“When we do our broccoli rabe, we leave it still green, with a little snap to it,” Turney said. 

The bread to accompany the meal came from a favorite of Turney’s.

“When we first opened Nonna’s, I was so excited to get Sarcone’s seeded bread,” she said. “It’s one of the best in the city.”

And no Sunday dinner would be complete without something sweet for dessert.

For Turney, the choice was obvious. The budino — a creamy pudding-like Italian dessert — from Barbuzzo, her other restaurant down the street.

Turney and her partner, Valerie Safran, own a venerable strip of restaurants and shops along the popular 13th Street Midtown Village corridor. Their salted carmel budino was at the forefront of the salted carmel trend and has been a popular menu item for nearly five years.

So what if the pope stopped by while he was in town for a budino?

“If the pope would come and have a budino, it would be… that would be awesome,” said Turney.

This is part four in a series.

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