• Cesaria's lorighittas (Pasta Grannies by Hardie Grant)Source: Pasta Grannies by Hardie Grant
Better brush up on your Italian, because you're about to inherit a few decades worth of pasta-making expertise.
21 Oct 2020 - 1:07 PM  UPDATED 21 Oct 2020 - 1:07 PM

No nonna? No worries. Pasta Grannies the cookbook brings you the access to Italy's homemade pasta-making prowess, thanks to writer and editor Vicky Bennison.

Bennison owns a home in Le Marche Italy, splitting time between there and London. Recording the pasta recipes of Italian grandmas didn't come by chance, as the esteemed food author has a history in writing food guides across the Mediterranean and has even published a book on seasonal Spanish foods.

The Italian nonna-based concept began as a video project, in which Bennison would film regional pasta makers and tell their stories via her Youtube channel. Now, it's a fully-fledged cookbook, and we've managed to get our pasta-obsessed mitts on six handpicked recipes just for you.

Time to bust out a bag of 00.

Gaia’s culurgiones with tomato sauce

A traditional dish of Sardinia, culurgiones are made on special occasions, like the end of harvest and the Day of the Dead (1 November), and they are given to others as a symbol of friendship.

Gaia’s culurgiones with tomato sauce

Olga's canerderli

The town of Selva in the Dolomites is known for its hearty dishes, like canederli – bread dumplings – with each household making their own version. Olga, the Pasta Granny behind this dish, serves hers with goulash or a green salad, melted butter and shower of parmesan cheese.

Olga’s canederli

Franca's classic lasagna with bolognese

This lasagne recipe comes from Pasta Granny, Franca, who lives south of Bologna. She says of her lasagna, ‘To be a proper lasagna bolognese there should be at least five layers of pasta!’.

Franca’s classic lasagna with bolognese

Cesaria’s lorighittas with chicken

Lorighittas are double-hooped, twisted strands of spaghetti. In the days before radio, TV and mobile phones, making lorighittas was an opportunity for women to get together to gossip and sing. 

Cesaria's lorighittas

Lucia’s raschiatelli with salami and horseradish

Raschiatelli, also known as cavatelli, are made from an eggless dough rolled into little shells. Here, they're served with chunks of salami, tomato and a fresh kick of horseradish.

Lucia’s raschiatelli with salami and horseradish

Monica's pasta baskets with ricotta and lemon

Monica Venturi and her sister own a pasta shop behind the central covered market in Bologna. They invented these ‘pasta baskets’ because they wanted to offer something different.

Monica’s pasta baskets with ricotta and lemon

Keeping traditions alive, watch the Pasta Grannies at work.

Find all the recipes in the Pasta Grannies cookbook, edited by Vicky Bennison (Hardie Grant, RRP $39.99).

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Saint John’s pasta pudding

In Ibiza, this dessert is synonymous with the midsummer celebration of Sant Joan at the end of June. There’s even a small white-washed village called Sant Joan de Labritja.

Standby porcini pasta

When an impressive dish is needed at the last minute, cue this standby pasta and its golden crumbs. 

Simple pasta carbonara

Topping the creamy pasta with prosciutto instead of bacon gives the dish a sharper flavour, and it's all ready in a matter of minutes.

Fresh pasta with warrigal pesto

This recipe was made on the set of On Country Kitchen using fresh ribbon pasta, but you can use any type you like, fresh or dry.