Lidia Bastianich is a renowned chef and host of the famous cooking show Lidia’s Italy. She is also a best-selling author and chef/owner of half a dozen restaurants. But maybe more than that Lidia is “nonna,” or grandmother to 5 grandchildren. In her newest book, Nonna’s Birthday Surprise, Lidia shares the joy of food and cooking with the grandchildren, culminating in a birthday dinner for her mother, Nonna Mima. Along the way Lidia shares memories of growing up in Istria, and the central role food played in her life.
The book contains adorable illustrations by Renée Graef and eighteen recipes, which emphasize fresh seasonal ingredients. Nonna’s surprise is Pasta Primavera, that can be put together with a variety of vegetables. Each recipe contains a “Kids Can” section, which lays out tasks for the kids, such as measure out ingredients and pick parsley leaves for chopping.
Sharing simple, joyful meals with loved ones–also growing, harvesting, and preparing the foods we ate. Our lives were in sync with the rhythms of nature–the land, plants, animals and seasons. We knew where our food came from and respected is, using everything and wasting nothing.–Lidia Bastianich
–By Alexandra Rose
See Alexandra Rose make the Tomato Almond Pesto with Spaghetti on our blog.