About Nonna Nina


I was born in Brooklyn, New York. My mother’s mother, my maternal grandmother was named Maria Bucelli Cisco. She was from Montepulciano in the wine growing region of Tuscany near Florence. My maternal grandfather Luigi was born near Verona.

On my dad’s side, both grandparents emigrated from a little town in Sicily called Santa Maria Belice.
So you see, I’m mixture, a blend of the north and the south: “a fritto misto” and my cooking style reflects that fact.

My mother Tigelia was an only child. My grandmother loved to cook. She would come every day to our home in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn when my dad was very busy in court as he was a judge of the Supreme Court of New York.  My grandmother loved to help my mother  cook and care for me, my brother and sister.

I was therefore, introduced to Tuscan fare at a fairly young age. Grandma would make delicious soups like Ribollita for lunch and leave Chicken, Ossobuco and Pasta e Fagioli. I feel fortunate to have been raised in this environment.

I did not help much in the kitchen as a youngster but I married at 21 years of age to an Italian, while we were both in school. Then I quickly learned via a crash course from my mother and my Nonna and I have been cooking for my husband , my children and other family members and friends almost every day for the past 51 years.

For me cooking is love. It is a gift I give to those I care about - to nourish their souls and tummy. My grandmother and mother left me with a priceless legacy. The privilege of knowing how to duplicate the dishes which have been in the Bucelli family of Tuscany for generations.

I am now in the process of teaching some of the regional recipes to my truly wonderful daughters-in-law. It is my hope that they will then be passed down to their family members long after this Nonna has happily cooked her last meal.



Enjoy Nonna Nina's Recipes:

Nonna Nina La Bruna