About Nonna Anna



I was born in San Demetrio, Italy in 1948.  My parents emigrated to the US when I was almost 10 years old in December 1957.  As most emigrants, my parents came here looking for a better life for themselves and their children.  None of us spoke a word of English when we arrived in December 1957.  Life back then was hard as my parents were not well educated, but life was safe and happy for me and for my brother.  We did not know or understand how difficult it was for my parents.

We were given a lot of nurture and love, but most importantly my parents made sure that I went to college and my father, especially, encouraged entrepreneurship.  My parents embraced the US, but they did not give up their method of cooking and sharing food with friends.  I learned how to cook by spending time in the kitchen with both my father and my mother.  No recipes and no measuring.  Everything started with olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic and/or celery sofrito.  Wine, cheese and crusty bread were part of every meal.  My parents loved pasta and soup; therefore, almost all meals started with a soup or a small portion of pasta.  After, we ate lamb, veal and chicken with a vegetable.  My parents did not serve sweets....every meal was completed with a serving of fruit.  Sometimes my father would cut up the fruit into a glass of wine and eat it with a spoon. Since Fridays were a day of abstinence, our Friday meals included pasta alio e olio, poached fish w/salsa verde, or pasta alle vongole.

Holidays were extravaganza meals: antipasto, soup (straciatella w/mini meatballs), pasta, lamb or veal w/roasted potatoes and a vegetable; usually followed by a salad, fruit and cheese.  The US tradition that got added was dessert, but my mother was not interested in sweets.  So, it was up to me to make a cake!

I went to Catholic school from the time we came to the US through high school.  I love to cook, to sew, and to knit.  I am a pretty good tax accountant.  There are not too many things or people that scare me.  I love to play on my Ipad or Iphone.  I can be bossy and opinionated, but I have a good heart and there is nothing I would not do for a friend.

Everything I am is because my parents and teachers taught me to respect God, do good and work hard.  Sometimes it got a bit difficult, but I have to admit that I still work hard, love my family above all else, and my favorite days include good food, wine and friends and family for sharing.

My husband and I have four children and seven grandchildren.  We are planning a trip to Italy next summer to celebrate my 65th birthday.  I am grateful every day that I came from Italy as it provided me with a rich culture and strong background.  I am grateful every day that I live in the US and can pretty much do what I want.  And, each and every day I try to do something for someone who needs a little bit of encouragement, a laugh, or just someone to listen.



Enjoy Nonna Anna's Recipes

Nonna Anna Figurelli Sachs