"Dazzles like the harbor of Portofino." —Adriana Trigiani
Laura Schenone's original goal was simple enough: to find her great-grandmother's recipe for ravioli. But things get more complicated as she reunites with relatives and digs up buried family stories. Taking readers from New Jersey's industrial wastelands and fast-paced suburbs to the coast of Liguria—homeland of her ancestors and of ravioli—The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken is a story of the comedies and foibles of family life, of love and loss, of old homes and new, and of the mysteries of pasta, rolled on a pin into a perfect circle of gossamer dough.
Hand-rolled ravioli are ephemeral things, taking ages to prepare only to be devoured in minutes. And yet for Schenone (the James Beard Award winning A Thousand Years over a Hot Stove) their taste encapsulates an entire domestic history and the promise of happiness, however fleeting. In this marvelous family memoir, which considers the immigrant experience from the vantage of food, Schenone, longing for "an inner life where advertising cannot reach," sets off on an idealistic quest to reclaim the ravioli recipe that her Genovese great-grandmother brought with her at the turn of the last century to New Jersey, where the dish abruptly changed, breaking with tradition. In search of enlightenment, Schenone charms her way into the kitchens of ravioli-making elders in Liguria (whose recipes she shares in this book with admirable precision), then spends years trying to teach her hands the difficult art of stretching dough an endeavor that tests her most cherished ideas of home and family and self. Her fierce honesty and relentless questioning ("at what point is this an egotistical labor?"), skillful handling and dismantling of family myth, refusal to romanticize Italy and historian's knack for sketching the big picture in a few broad strokes allows this poignant book to transcend the specificity of its subject matter.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Lost Ravioli Recipe ofHoboken
I'm in love with this book! Finally someone understands that we must keep the traditions alive. I to have had to be away from family for a very long time. I want to give my children and grandchildren something to always remember no matter how fleeting it may be.
I will be using these recipes as my bible. This bible holds the real truths.
Thank you for all your hard and loving work on this wonderful book.
A good cook.