About Nonna Linda


I was born in Brooklyn, New York as an only child.  My parents, too, were born in the United States but their parents, my grandparents, came from what they called, "the other side". My paternal grandparents lived in Salerno, near Naples and my maternal grandparents were from the northern part of Italy in the area of Moncalvo (Piemonte).  Although my mother was born in Pennsylvania, she and her brother lived in this northern region during their youth It was here that my mother learned to prepare many of the receipes that she handed down to me.

My Piemontese grandmother lived with my family until I was twelve years old.  One of my fondest memories of her was "Ravioli Day".  On special occasions we would both rise early to prepare ravioli.  My job was to count them and place each one on a freshly starched white cotton cloth.  She stuffed the thinly rolled pasta with her unique recipe of mixed meats, Ligurian sausage, spinach, pinoli nuts and cheese. They were sensational.

It was while on vacation in Taormina, Sicily, that I met my husband who was visiting his family there. This was truly a union of north and south, Montcalvo with Sicily.  After a few years of failed attempts, I finally learned to make the Sunday sauce just like his mother.
The traditional recipes of my mother are those which are the most memorable to me. When most of my friends were eating peanut butter and jelly for lunch, I was enjoying a bowl of polenta with milk or topped with butter and Parmesan cheese.  For breakfast we would fry the leftover polenta in a little bit of olive oil and drizzle it with maple syrup.
My mother often had Bagna Cauda parties where guests would gather around a table  full of cut up  raw vegetables and dip into chafing dishes of a hot mixture of garlic, olive oil and anchovies.  With good Italian bread and robust red wine this was, indeed, a feast .

My son, Michael, has not yet developed an interest in cooking. He does, however, frequently enjoy samplings of these Piemontese dishes. My six step-grandchildren are all still involved in sports and schooling.  I hope some day one of them will cultivate a passion for cooking and continue preparing the traditional family recipes.



Enjoy Nonna Linda's Recipes

Nonna Linda Allegretti