About Nonna Antoinette


Antoinette DeCarlo was born in the village of Guardiaregia, Campobasso in the Molise region of Southern Italy. When she and her husband Peter came to America, they had six children: five girls and one boy, which then expanded the family by ten grandchildren. Keeping everyone well-fed was always Grandma Antoinette’s passion, as she’d prepare extravagant meals from scratch every day: from homemade macaroni, to pizza, soups, cookies and other comforting recipes. With so many mouths to feed in the house, carefully budgeting the income, while still purchasing the best imported ingredients was a skilled task.

Shopping in several different markets in the North Jersey town of Palisades Park where

Grandpa Peter chose to settle (one for the vegetables, one for the meat, one for the bread, and so on) was her daily routine. The friendly local merchants treated her like a member of their own families, recommending the best of their quality and assisting her with any of her recipe needs. But overall, these recipes were not written down, they were followed from memory, and with her own touches of flavor based on what ingredients were in season added in. Each child and grandchild has continued her love for cooking, and as Grandma has gotten older, the kids have taken the reigns in the kitchen, duplicating her style as closely as possible. But no one else can make meatballs as perfect, her signature specialty. The exceptionally balanced sweet and savory flavors of the delicately rolled meat simply will never be matched. On every holiday and occasion they would be present, and all the grandchildren would line up to “mangia`”,  including myself, Johnny DeCarlo, author of this bio and author of Cugine Corner.



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Nonna Antoinette DeCarlo

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