Rossella Rago and the Italian Grandmas We Need in Our Lives Right Now

Mar 14, 2020 696

BY: Kristine Jannuzzi

I’m on set with first-generation Italian-American Rossella Rago and her 86-year-old maternal grandmother, Romana Sciddurlo, to talk about the evolution of her popular online show Cooking with Nonna. By “set,” I mean the humble basement kitchen in Nonna Romana’s house in Bensonhurst, where Rago spent countless hours during her childhood watching her grandmother prepare meals for their family.

The fridge is covered with tattered recipes handwritten in Italian, and the embroidered white tablecloth brings back memories of Sunday dinners at my own grandmother’s former house in Flatbush. As we sit down to chat over espresso and pastries, Rago explains that this Brooklyn neighborhood was an enclave for Italian immigrants from Mola di Bari in Puglia, where both of her parents were born.

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