About Nonna Rita


Rita Belmondo, whose parents were from the Cuneo area, loves to prepare recipes from the lovely Piemonte region.  Although Rita was born and raised in Brocton, NY, she was faithful to her mother’s recipes from Cuneo and still makes its specialties.  Rita’s husband Silvio was born in Kiefertown, PA and moved to Italy with his parents at age eleven in 1932.  He was raised in Busseleno in the Valle di Susa, and was very familiar with the  dishes from the region.

Silvio returned to the United States to join the Marines in World War II.  He met Rita prior to joining the Marines.  He was working part time in Brocton.  Rita was working full time at General Electric in Erie, PA.  They corresponded while he was in the Marines and  were married upon his return home.  Subsequently, Silvio went into carpentry, and built his 80-foot ranch home in Brocton.  Rita was his main assistant and manually helped to construct the home.

Rita prepared and fed her family dinner each day prior to working on construction of the new home.  Silvio was also working a full time job and continued working evenings on the new home.  When the home was completed, the home was not their only pride and joy.  A garden larger than the home itself was their source of all vegetables along with much parsley and basil.  An orchard of dwarf fruit trees provided an abundance of peaches, apples, pears, apricots, plums and cherries.  Rita became an expert at canning all vegetables and fruits.  The cupboard was never bare.  Her family, friends and invited guests were year-long recipients of the meals and dessert prepared from the garden and fruit trees.

Throughout the years, Rita has rarely purchased bread from the grocery store.  Rather, she baked bread weekly from a recipe taught to her by her own mother.  To this day, she bakes a dozen loaves, rolls and breadsticks used as accompaniments in all her recipes.   Rita frequently hand-churned the butter used on the homemade bread.  It was often served with her homemade strawberry or peach preserves.  

To this day, both Silvio and Rita, ages 87and 85 respectively, still indulge in all their recipes.   



Enjoy Nonna Rita's Recipes

Nonna Rita Belmondo