• BookGirl1997

Traditional Italian Recipes in My Family

My great-grandmother (Nanaan) was a tremendous cook, and her recipes live on as both daily and holiday staples in my family. My cousin and I are embarking on a project to preserve her legacy, and part of that project involves recipe compilation. Here are a few of the homemade, Italian recipes that are part of the project.


Christmas dessert

For the Dough:

4 Cups Flour

1 tablespoon Baking Powder

4 Eggs

½ Stick Margarine (I used salted butter)

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tablespoons Oil (I used vegetable oil)

1 tsp anise

½ Cup Sugar

For the Honey Topping:

1 Cup Honey

Those tiny colored sprinkles

½ Cup Sugar

It was thick so we added ¼ cup water

Mix Dough ingredients (I added dry to wet)

Roll into thin logs on floured board

Cut into small pea size pieces (they become round in the hot oil)

Filled dinner size plates

Used electric fryer and cooked 1 plate at a time (canola oil)

Temp 350 for 1:50 minutes (turned slight color, not too brown)

Placed on paper towel lined platter and let cool

On stovetop add ½ cup sugar to 1 cup honey and warm until sugar dissolved – low heat about 3 minutes 

If gets too thick, add ¼ cup water

Add to honey mixture to strufoli and coat well

Sprinkle little colored sprinkles on top and enjoy!

Can brandish with candied lemon/orange peel and/or pecans or walnuts

Nonna Rose Biscotti Neri

1 pound powdered sugar

4 oz honey

1.5 pounds of flour

4 eggs

0.5 pound of Filbert’s roasted and chopped

1 teaspoon baking powder

Roll dough into logs, one inch thick

Wash each log with beaten eggs

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes



Mash 3 boiled potatoes

Add 2 tablespoons of melted shortening

Add 6 cups of flour

Mix with wooden spoon

Place mixture on floured surface and knead dough till smooth

Roll dough into long strips, flour generously

Cut into ½ inch to ¾ inch pieces, and roll each piece on the tongs of a fork

Boil water in 8 quart pot and add a pinch of salt right before water boils

When boiling, add cavatelli

Cook five minutes

Drain and serve with sauce of choice


Easter cake 

11 eggs

2 ½ lbs flour (weighed)

2 ½ Cups Sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 bags Fleishman’s dry 

yeast original (not instant)

12 oz (weighed) crisco, melted and cooled slightly

Grease 2 pans with paper towel dipped in the liquid crisco

Add  liquid ingredients to flour and mixed in food processor

Knead by hand for a bit, dough will be thick and sticky

Lay ½ dough in each pan and smooth tops slightly

Cover with pam sprayed saran wrap and blankets in warm spot 

Let rise until cake doubles in volume (can take 12-24 hours)

Bake on bottom shelf 325 for 15 minutes and then lower oven to 300 and bake for less than 45 minutes. Check for color and cake tester maybe at 30 minutes


Add, in order listed, and mix: 5 eggs, ½ pound of sugar, 1 stick butter, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 pounds flour

Lightly grease cookie sheets with Crisco

Take walnut size piece of dough and coil into shape (repeat)

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes

Make frosting: 1 pound powdered sugar, 2 ounces cold water, ½ teaspoon lemon flavor (mix with a spoon)

Dip each cookie into frosting

Add confetti sprinkles

Let dry and serve


Wash eggplant, cut off stem

Cut into long thin slices, cut slices into strips, cut strips into mini pieces

Wash and peel 2 potatoes; cut into chunks

Wash one zucchini and cut into chunks

In large pot, put 1.5 mayo size jar of vegetable oil 

Let boil

Add eggplant pieces a little at a time, and remove when cooked

Add potato chunks, and remove when cooked

Add zucchini chunks, and remove when cooked

Combine eggplant, potato and zucchini in a bowl

Add 1 chopped clove of garlic  into a medium pot with two tablespoons of vegetable oil; cook on low for 2 minutes and stir

Add ⅔ cup of Contadina  tomato sauce and ½ cup of water, and stir

Sprinkle in pepper and oregano

Add one teaspoon fresh basil

Cook 15 minutes

Add eggplant, potato and zucchini mixture

Cook on medium to warm up, then serve!

Homemade Bread

Mix: 1 quart water, 2 ounces sugar, 1 ounce salt, 1 ounce Crisco, 1 package dry yeast

Let rise for one hour

Mix again and form into shape

Let rise for an hour

Bake at 425 until golden brown

Serve warm!

Homemade Sauce

Saute the following in a medium pot over medium heat: 3 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ pound to ½ pound of beef with bone, 2 tablespoons chopped onion and 3  whole crescents of garlic without skin

Add ⅓ cup red or white wine after a few minutes

After 5 minutes, add 6 ounces tomato paste and mix

After 5 minutes, add 6 ounces of water

After 5 minutes, add 28 ounces of fresh crushed tomato sprinkled with  basil

Sprinkle in pepper

Add teaspoon fresh crushed basil

Add a sprinkle of nutmeg

Add handful of freshly-chopped parsley (no stems)

Let boil, and simmer for two hours; stir occasionally


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