Pasta Grannies: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks

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Pasta Grannies: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks

Pasta Grannies: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks

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Once it's kneaded, place the dough in a bowl that fits the size of your ball and cover it with a close-fitting lid or dampened cloth which has not been cleaned in perfumed detergent; air is the enemy of pasta, and you don't want it to dry out. Let this rest for at least 30 minutes. She loves growing her own vegetables and cooking from scratch. She even makes her own flour using locally grown whole wheat; it has a wonderful nutty aroma, but don't worry, you do not need to do this! We tested her recipe using 00 flour. If you do want to copy Nadia and use your own wholewheat flour, then sift the flour first, to remove the flakes of bran, otherwise your silk handkerchiefs will be more hessian in texture. The layout is very concise, and complemented by beautifully wholesome photos of the nonne in action or of their completed dishes. I eat pasta four times a day when I’m filming because our ladies don’t cook for YouTube; they cook for us, so of course, we have to sit down to a meal,” Bennison says. Bennison’s father worked in agricultural development, so the family was based on a farm in Kenya for much of her childhood in the early 1960s. Traveling, exploring, and learning about food and its cultivation is evidently in her blood. Indeed, Bennison was a management consultant in international development for most of her career, which entailed a constant itinerary of places, faces, and novelty. Food was both a comfort and her avenue to a shared language in far-flung places: “Food was the unifying theme. The first thing I’d do when I arrived in a country [that was new to me] would be to go and look at the markets to see what was on offer and how people were eating.”

After about 10 minutes the meat will browned and will have crispy edges. Remove the pieces from the pan and set aside. Use the lovely fat to sauté your courgettes over a medium heat for 4 minutes or so until the pieces are soft. Inspired by the hugely popular YouTube channel of the same name, Pasta Grannies is a wonderful collection of time-perfected Italian recipes from the people who have spent a lifetime cooking for love, not a living: Italian grandmothers. Pasta Grannies was the glorious consequence of Bennison’s move to Cingoli, Marche, northeast of Rome, on the Adriatic Sea facing Croatia. Making a home there, amid the mountains and the sea, enabled her to travel around the regional and rural towns to meet with grandmothers and to film them telling their stories and sharing their recipes for Bennison’s YouTube channel. “With Pasta Grannies, we go all over Italy, but we don’t end up in the touristy areas because that’s not where you find old-fashioned cooking,” she explains. Learn how to make pasta like Italian nonnas do. Inspired by the hugely popular YouTube channel of the same name, Pasta Grannies is a wonderful collection of time-perfected Italian pasta recipes from the people who have spent a lifetime cooking for love, not a living: Italian grandmothers. Each recipe is taught by a different granny - or nonna - as one would say in Italian. The reader is given a little introduction to the nonna and where she’s from. We are also given some interesting facts about the dish or the unique ingredients.

Customer reviews

It is retired dairy farmer Cicci from Liguria who epitomizes the strength, resilience, and grace of Pasta Grannies for Bennison.

When you have good ingredients, you don't have to worry about cooking. They do the work for you."– Lucia, 85

The pasta very soon became a vehicle for celebrating women of a certain age,” she says. “I feel strongly that food isn’t just the preserve of the young. Women over 65 were underrepresented in the food media, and I wanted to celebrate their experience. No classical TV channel would commission something with no jeopardy, no macho-style throwing of the pans around.” Discover 91 year-old Pina's chestnut gnocchi with walnut pesto, lovingly made with ingredients she grows around her home in Liguria; or 99 year-old Marietta's special tagliatelle recipe, which is not really a recipe at all but a reflection of her vegetable garden, the Calabrian countryside and the changing seasons. As well as meat, seafood and vegetable pasta recipes, chapters cover pizzas, pastries and pies, rice and pulses, dairy and herbs, nuts and spices. Add the pasta to the sauté pan. Toss the pasta with the courgette and 1 tablespoon of the mint and sauté the mixture for a minute or so. If you feel the pasta is drying out too much, add a bit of pasta water. Spending time with our family and friends has never felt so important - and so often this means cooking for the ones you love.

She lived in a very remote, rural part of Liguria in the mountains, and there’s so many villages that have been depopulated, and people have gone into cities. The resilience of these women came through in a lot of the stories. The fact is that in poor society, money isn’t the currency, labor is. Society functions through helping each other.” Featuring easy and accessible recipes from all over Italy, you will be transported into the very heart of the Italian home to learn how to make great-tasting Italian food. Pasta styles range from pici – a type of hand-rolled spaghetti that is simple to make – to lumachelle della duchessa – tiny, ridged, cinnamon-scented tubes that take patience and dexterity. When you have formed a ball, turn it out onto the pasta board and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and lightly bouncy. Cover and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Each recipe is also available on the YouTube channel and one can easily find them by scanning the corresponding QR code. Wash and dry the basil leaves thoroughly. Add a handful at a time to the mortar, with a pinch of salt, then pound and grind the leaves into the paste.Of choosing the nonne and recipes to include in Comfort Food, she says it was a puzzle of trying to combine recipes that are mostly easy enough for home cooks while also throwing a few challenging recipes in for enthusiasts.

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