This beautiful collection of food and nostalgia features great traditions from the heart of Italy, with delicious recipes and colorful stories from the internationally celebrated grandmothers of Enoteca Maria—a one-of-a-kind Italian restaurant where a rotating cast of nonnas are the star chefs.
Enoteca Maria takes great home cooking seriously. At this intimate, hospitable restaurant on Staten Island, all the cooking is done by ten nonnas (grandmothers), drawing on their own family recipes, handed down for generations, which reflect their regional traditions. Here are their delicious homemade pastas, risottos, desserts, and more, which have foodies from all over the world taking the ferry to the forgotten borough for an authentic taste of Italy.
Beautiful full-color photography captures the fresh, distinctive flavors of these surprising dishes. Nonna Cristina shares her beautiful Risotto with Strawberries, Black Pepper, and Parmesan; Nonna Margherita offers delectable Stuffed Peppers with Pine Nuts and Raisins; and Nonna Teresa shows off her prize-winning Meat and Cheese Lasagna. Nonna Elvira whips up her peerless Linguine with Cuttlefish and Ink; Adelina creates a savory Tagliatelle with Pumpkin, Sausage, and Chestnuts; and Rosaria makes handmade Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Cherry Tomatoes and Porcini Mushrooms. Nonna Carmelina shares her classic Potato Pie with Ham, Salami, and Mozzarella; Rosa confides her nonna’s secret recipe for Rabbit with Sage; and Nina sautés Chicken alla Capricciosa, with prosciutto and mushrooms. Nonna Francesca launches the book with advice on the time-honored art of preserving everything from olives to soppressata.
With its utterly delicious tastes of grandmother’s kitchen, Nonna’s House is a legacy of flavors passed down through generations, now captured here forever. Restaurant founder Jody Scaravella says it best: “If I have a choice between a three-star Michelin chef’s restaurant and Grandma’s, I’m going to Grandma’s. I’m going to the source.”
There is no better gimmick than legitimacy, and Staten Island restaurateur Scaravella has found a way to multiply authentic Italian cuisine by a factor of 10. Behind the scenes of his eight-year-old eatery, Enoteca Maria, there are no award-winning celebrity chefs; instead, there is a rotation of 10 real-life Italian grandmothers (nonnas) serving up their ages-old family recipes. This rustic collection showcases over 100 of those dishes and also provides each chef's life story, told in her own words. The autobiographies are notably similar: tales of large, multi-generation families; hungry husbands; immigration to America; and ever-present food streaming forth from the kitchen. The 10 primary chapters are arranged in course order from antipasti through cereali (polenta, risotto, and the like) to dessert. Pastas are broken out into two different chapters, with one dedicated to stuffed pasta and pizza and showcasing not only three types of lasagna but also ravioli with rabbit filling and spinach manicotti. The grannies do not always play it safe. For instance, cocoa plays a starring, and startling, role in two obscure dishes: eggplant with chocolate, and chocolate blood pudding. In the latter, four cups of pig's blood are sweetened with semisweet chocolate, honey, and wine. For tamer palates, the final chapter, on holiday treats, features an Easter wheat pie with nothing more daring than orange peel and ricotta. Color photos.