About Nonna Norma


My name is Norma Leonardi and I was born in Rieti, a beautiful city not far from Rome. After living in different cities of Italy as my father was a Carabiniere, today I live in Pomezia, a town in the province of Rome.
I have two daughters: one lives in Rome and the other in Somers, New York. My “American” daughter has a beautiful child who is now ten years old. My granddaughter Sophie was born in Manhattan, New York, and is now learning Italian so that she can communicate with me.

I have chosen these recipes because they are simple and quick to prepare and also  because they remind me of my infancy.  In particular I’m very fond of the “vipere cieche” (blind vipers) because when my mother made them for me I would be very happy. Every time, after she made the dough  with just flour and water, she would give me a piece

of dough and I would model it into a flower or a little animal. I  remember that one time, I was still barely ten years old, as soon as my mother had put on the kitchen table the bag full of flour, she was summoned by a neighbor to attend an urgent matter. Once she left the house, eager to help her, I poured all the flour on the table, poured water into it and started to mix it. I made a mess!!! When my mother returned home, she yelled at me so much that to this day I still remember it.  She had to throw everything away. My mother was right to yell at me… it was during the war and flour was not easy to come by.

What I remember from my adolescence is the first kiss: it was given to me by a German soldier with blonde hair and blue eyes. It was a kiss that kids today call “Bacio a Stampo”  (Tap Kiss). Later, I met the most important person of my life: my husband. He also had blue eyes and blond hair (That is, in those days they were blonde… not anymore). My mother told me: “…but why do you always fall in love with  sheep?” ( She said that because sheep have blue eyes!). Since then, when my husband makes me mad, I tell him that he has the eyes of a sheep.
I hope you enjoy my recipes. Buon Appetito.



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Nonna Norma Leonardi