Cooking with Nonna by Rossella Rago [download kindle ebooks]

  • Full Title : Cooking with Nonna: A Year of Italian Holidays: 130 Classic Holiday Recipes from Italian Grandmothers
  • Autor: Rossella Rago
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Race Point Publishing
  • Publication Date: November 6, 2018
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1631065203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631065200
  • Download File Format: epub


Learn to cook traditional Italian food for every holiday of the year with Rossella Rago and her Italian nonna in Cooking with Nonna: A Year of Italian Holidays.

They’re back! Rossella Rago and her adorable Nonna Romana have returned with Cooking with Nonna: A Year of Italian Holidays, a traditional cookbook no Italian kitchen should be without. This Italian cookbook is a culinary treasury, jam-packed with over 125 classic holiday recipes for Italian-food lovers, including classic holiday recipes like Struffoli, Christmas Fish, Manicotti, Cannelloni, Cannoli Cheesecake, and more.

With advice from nonnas all over the country, this unique book covers holiday classics from every region of Italy, from Milan to Sicily, and includes holiday memories from the nonnas themselves. The nonnas also give their personal tips on cooking for a crowd (and it's always a crowd). And, of course, no new Cooking with Nonna cookbook would be complete without Rossella's signature dishes and unique voice

Rosella and her nonnas will have you enjoying Italian culinary delights around the year. In addition to the major holidays of Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, you will find recipes for New Year’s Eve and Day, the Epiphany, Little Easter, St. Joseph’s Day, Carnevale, All Souls Day, Valentine’s Day, Women’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Saint Rocco's Feast. To complete you year-round Italian tasting tour, recipes for weddings and other celebrations are included.

Nothing brings family together like delicious food around the holidays, and Cooking with Nonna: A Year of Italian Holidays has everything you need to keep your family full and happy every holiday of the year. Bring the dishes and the memories you grew up with to a whole new generation of Italian Americans!


About the Author

Rossella Rago is the host of the popular web TV series Cooking with Nonna ( For each episode of the show, Rossella invites an Italian-American nonna to cook with her and share traditional Italian recipes and fond memories of her childhood in Italy. Rossella, a graduate of St. John’s University, has traveled the country and performed cooking demonstrations in numerous cities across the United States with local nonne as her partners.

Rossella spent her childhood in the kitchen with her maternal Nonna Romana, learning the long legacy of recipes from Puglia passed down through the generations. Launching Cooking with Nonna TV has allowed Rossella to expand her culinary expertise to much of the rest of Italy too. Rossella, together with her mother and her Nonna Romana, won the “Italiano Battle” episode of the Food Network's 24 Hour Restaurant Battle in 2010. She is the author of Cooking with Nonna and Cooking with Nonna: A Year of Italian Holidays (Race Point Publishing, 2017 and 2018). Rossella lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her bestselling novels, including her latest, All the Stars in the Heavens, the instant bestseller of The New York Times, Barnes & NoblePublishers Weekly, USA Todayand Indie Booksellers nationwide. She wrote the blockbuster The Shoemaker’s Wife, the Big Stone Gap series, the Valentine trilogy and Lucia, Lucia.  Trigiani’s themes of love and work, emphasis upon craftsmanship and family life have brought her legions of fans who call themselves Adri-addicts (a term coined by book maven Robin Kall). Their devotion has made Adriana one of “the reigning queens of women’s fiction” (USA Today).

The New York Times calls her “a comedy writer with a heart of gold”, her books “tiramisu for the soul.” Her books have been translated in 36 countries around the world. Adriana has toured many of the countries, including South Africa, with annual visits to the United Kingdom.



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ts since I started my coaching career, which began in earnest when I fell in love with the indoor cycling bike and became an instructor in 1996. Then, in 2006, I met Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, and they told me they wanted to create a yoga-based spiritual journey on the bike—what became SoulCycle—and we just clicked. They saw how I taught—a unique method based on my instincts, my previous teaching experience as a fitness instructor, and my cardio-party attitude. We gave riders the freedom to dance on the bike. Our movement, passion, and formula had never been used before, and SoulCycle quickly expanded from one ground-floor-lobby studio that had a rickshaw in the front so people could find it to the most popular indoor cycling chain in the world, with thirty studios in New York City, almost twenty in Los Angeles, and many more to come.

When the SoulCycle craze hit, everyone tried to understand its secret sauce. Why were hardworking New Yorkers hovering over their computers every Monday at noon, vying to secure a bike in a class with their favorite instructor? It was due to the entire experience they had in our classes. It wasn’t just a hard-core workout for their muscles. Riders left feeling uplifted and transformed in every possible way.

They may have come to class wanting a firmer butt—and they got it!—but they soon learned that firmer resolutions needed to change as well. Students come to class with all the challenges and stresses of their lives. Some are in mourning, or they are coming from a chemo treatment. Others are in the ecstasies of love! I also have students who come to me determined to finally lose those pounds they’ve struggled with all their lives. Or some just want to shed the baby weight or look buff for a special event. I see my students pedaling hard and feeling the joy that comes from exerting their bodies and pushing themselves further. But most important, they tell me how they are able to translate this feeling into making real changes in dealing with their lives.

I push them because they come in wanting to be pushed. They make me so proud, because they prove that easy doesn’t change you. You change through determination and hard work.

If you take the time to think about the difficult decisions you’ve made in your life, you will realize how much stronger you were after making them. Now you can look back at what you endured and tell yourself, “Wow, I can’t believe I got through that. Look where I am now!”

I also learned that to be the most effective teacher possible I had to get off the podium bike. I walk around the room now, keeping my eye on everyone. This way, I feel the vibe. I can correct someone who may be having an off day, or I can help someone reach higher. With this laser focus on teaching and coaching, I can be the “Entertrainer.” All my teaching comes from love, empowerment, and laughter, helping my students learn how to enjoy the power of movement while keeping mental negativity from getting in the way.

I want my students to come right up against themselves, to pedal hard to the top of the mountain . . . past fears, insecurities, bad habits, procrastination, self-criticism, and indecision . . . to come down the other side into the clear stretch of accomplished joy. “Two turns from zero” is a metaphor for beating the challenges we are trying to push past. It’s facing and overcoming the issues in our tissues—the deep-seated memories and learned behavior we get hung up on.

We all have those awful nagging voices in our heads that say we’re no good or we can’t do it or we’ll never make it. I’m here to help you with those nagging voices, and we’ll discuss that throughout this book. It’s a really important issue, because no matter what, you can never give up. We will set goals, and we will hit them. That’s the moment we turn into the goal, and we hit that. We never stop scoring goals for the rest of our lives together. As coach and athlete, let’s kick ass together. Cool?

That’s why this book is about change—which happens when you build mental and physical muscles. It’s also about finding the magic connection between intention and action. About training your emotions and your purpose. About clearing out the mental negativity and getting out of your own way. I have called on my own painful journey of personal transformation to create a unique method for personal empowerment, combining newfound physical strength, mental resolve, and joyful intention.

This method will teach you how to channel your inner athlete as I’ve learned to channel mine. I want you to embrace and love the body you were born into as I have learned to love mine, even though I abused it with my addictions. I want to help you find your purpose, then embrace it so you can follow your self-proclaimed path in the most inspirational and joyful manner possible. I want you to have all the love you deserve and to give back the love you feel in return.

This book contains the tools for finding your true, authentic power, for keeping your body and mind in motion, for always moving forward, and for taking on life as you have never taken it on before.

One of my favorite sayings is “You are stronger than you were yesterday, but no way are you as strong as you’ll be tomorrow.” Another one is “Now, let’s crush it.” So, let’s crush it!


I always say Motivation = Intention + Action. This book shows you how to get motivation by finding your purpose, and then set your intentions for change before committing to my action plan.

The first chapter in part I tells you about the ups and downs of my life, so you’ll see what I did wrong and how I learned to make it right—turning my flaws, addictions, and shame into strength and balance. Along the way, I was able to train my heart to open up to the love I knew I deserved. I also found my true purpose in life, which gave me the motivation to change. I will discuss why everyone needs a purpose in life, and how, when you live with purpose, you can commit to making healthy changes.

Whatever it is that is holding you back, once you read my story I hope you will be inspired and know you can do it, too. In part II, I will show you how to set your intentions, as well as the basics of defining goals, which everyone must master before tackling the journey to finding their Ultimate Center. I’ll also introduce you to Moving Meditation and show you how it works. Next I will describe creative visualizations to help you focus and move forward. Read the Moving Meditations and creative visualizations all the way through before doing them. From there I will help you clear the physical and mental clutter so you can make a fresh start.

In part III, I will show you my LET program: Love, Eat, Train. Living from your Ultimate Center can only happen when you learn to love yourself and realize you deserve to be loved. There’s a really important chapter next. It’s called Eat, and it’s important because we all do it. I use this chapter to tell you about my unique approach to food. You are going to replace your old eating habits with good new ones, and when you do, you’re going to reach that goal weight. I will address nutrition basics with menu lists and some of my favorite recipes, all with a Stacey G twist.

I know you’ve been waiting for this next chapter. It’s called Train, and it’s one of my favorite topics. I’m going to lay out what you need to know about the benefits of exercise (and good sleep) and then show you how to train your body the Stacey G way. Think you might know it already? Well, there’s always more to learn.

Finally, there is Repeat, and some people think this is the hardest of all. But I will show you how to stay motivated—for life.

Two Turns from Zero is an ongoing empowerment system. It works for everyone, whether you’re sixteen, thirty-six, or seventy-six. Even if you’re at the happiest place you’ve ever been, you can wake up tomorrow with the rainy-day blues. Or something unexpected at work can totally throw you off. Life is always full of surprises. It changes every day. Your body changes every day. Your goals change, your life circumstances change, and Two Turns from Zero is your reference guide, because today is another day to do it all over again—but this time, do it better. I will give you the tools to keep your body and your mind in motion, in unison, taking on life like you’ve never taken it on before.

Picture your most favorite place to be and imagine what it feels like to be there. I can help you make that vibration of power and contentment a major part of who you are. I say we start today.

It’s only two turns from zero.




“No one remembers normal.”



I’m lucky.

I had a rough childhood filled with loss, and years of self-doubt, self-medication, and addiction followed—but when I look back on those years, the first thing I tell myself is that, yes, I was really lucky. Because I am lucky. Every experience, tough or tender, ultimately helped me find my purpose.

People who look at me now can hardly believe that I inhaled meth on and off, sometimes every week, for years; that I drank way too much; and that I hid all this from the students I exhorted to “Be the best you can be every day.” Did I listen to my own advice? Not for a long, long time.

So no, I wasn’t lucky being an addict, but I was finally fortunate that I met someone who became my wingman and got me, unknowingly at first, through to my sobriety. There’s no way I could have done it on my own. That’s the good part of the story, but first, let’s go back nearly five decades, to where my life started.


When I was born, in 1968, I came out of the womb practically swinging a tennis racquet. A natural-born athlete, I was a happy little girl who just wanted to play, play, play, and who never stopped moving until I fell into bed at night (in, not surprisingly, child’s pose on my knees). I’ve always been toned and fit and never had any problems with my weight.

Unlike my beautiful mom. My parents divorced when I was only three, and the split was incredibly difficult for her. She worked full-time while also taking care of me. She struggled with a lot; one issue in particular was her weight. She jumped from one diet to another because nothing ever worked.

This made me aware from an early age how excruciating these weight problems were for her, and for many of her friends, and how difficult it was to find the motivation to keep trying to lose weight. I was also aware that people were constantly making fun of her—sometimes directly and other times behind her back—which caused my mom and me both to be filled with shame and hurt.

Born on the bike, age four

Mom and Dad

My mom was so self-conscious about her weight that the only time she would go swimming—which she loved—was at night, when there were only a few people in the pool in our apartment complex. I vividly remember watching her enter the water, surrounded by the inky darkness and the blue-lit silence of the empty pool, and seeing a smile light up her face as she let the water caress her sore legs. My heart ached for her.

The only benefit of experiencing her pain, however, is the knowledge it gave me for helping my students who are also struggling with weight loss. I have such deep compassion for plus-size people, because I was raised by one. I will always call my mom my hero for never letting her weight affect who she was toward me. She was a very sweet and compassionate mother, full of unconditional love for her “unique” daughter, and for that, I also feel lucky. She taught me the art of the mush—how to be a softy!

Me and Mom, 2015

When I was eight years old, my mom nearly died in a car crash in San Jose, California, where we were living at the time, and she ended up in the same hospital where, as it happens, my grandfather was being treated for lung cancer. My father, who was by then happily remarried and busy raising his new family, only saw me every other weekend, which was what their divorce settlement decreed, so I moved in for a short time with the Harveys, my best friend’s family.

They were a close-knit and devout Mormon family of eight, and some of the most amazing people I can remember from my childhood. They knew I had already been baptized into their faith the year before. That had taken place thanks to one of my friends, Dion, the son of my grandmother’s neighbors up in the mountains of Calaveras County in Northern California.

I would ride my dirt bike over to Dion’s house, dodging the rattlesnakes on the trails, and hang out there all day. His family was devoutly Mormon, and one Saturday when I rode over there, they told me they wanted to take me to be baptized at Lake Mont Pines. I had no idea what a baptism was, so I asked Dion what it meant, and he said you had to open your heart to God. And I thought, Okay, my heart is open.

“Don’t be scared,” he added, “because they make you walk into the lake waist deep, but with your clothes still on.” I didn’t understand why he was telling me not to be scared, because getting dunked sounded like a whole lot of fun! On baptism day, we walked in a line, waist deep into the lake as Dion said we would; the water was warm from the summer heat. While we stood there, we heard a short sermon from the Mormon church member who was officiating, and then he asked me to give my life to Jesus. He laid me back and I got dunked in the water, and that was it. I was baptized. The entire experience was pleasant and peaceful. The only hope I had was that, when I was dunked under the water, I could come up and be a different girl. I was different, in fact—I became a lot calmer. I felt like the Mormons had my back—that someone was going to save me if I died, and it was one less thing to have to think about!

Anyway, the Harveys took me in after my mother’s accident, and prayed with me in the center of a circle every morning and every night, and I truly believe that their faith saved my mom, whose prognosis had been dire. I didn’t really consider myself a true Mormon because my parents weren’t and I wasn’t that interested in churchgoing, but I was grateful for the Harveys’ love and concern. My mom remained in intensive care for twenty-nine days. She was lucky to be alive, and she would live her new life as a slightly handicapped person, unable to do certain things, but she was still alive, and she was still my mom. And this was one of the first times in my life when I felt I was lucky.

After six weeks with the Harveys, I went to stay with my maternal grandparents, but my grandfather died about a month later. It was brutal to come home one evening from my dad’s to have a lot of people over. I asked, “Where’s Grandpa?” only to have my mom bring me to my room to tell me he was in heaven. I don’t recall anything else from that night—just how much my throat started hurting in the middle, and how my mom’s mascara ran down her cheeks from crying. I stayed with my grandmother for four more years—my mom joined us once she got out of the hospital—and then, when I was twelve, my grandmother, mom, and I moved to a different apartment complex; my grandmother got her own small apartment and my mom and I got one of our own. I still spent time with my dad, every other weekend, and every summer I went to stay with my paternal grandma, Stella.

Grandma Stella was a real go-getter. She never let having only a sixth-grade education stop her—she became a self-made millionaire. She’s my main hero in life. She taught me that if you put your mind and soul into whatever you want, you can accomplish it, no matter what your origins are.

She wanted me to succeed more than anyone, and she also had the financial means to help me do whatever schooling I wanted. She always reminded me that when it came to school, she would pay for anything. I guess I’m glad she didn’t know how much I actually hated school in those days. I think that would have broken her heart, because she loved telling me how smart she knew I was.

Grandma Stella was born in 1919 and had to drop out of school to take care of her sisters and her mom, who had tuberculosis. The family owned a restaurant, so Grandma not only had to look after her siblings and a sick mom, but she had to help run the restaurant, too. When she moved to the mountains of Calaveras County, she went to beauty school and became a hairdresser.

SG TRUTH I learned from Stella that sometimes you achieve things in life by taking a path that’s different from the one you were originally going down. She never imagined she would sell real estate, and it ended up being a success story during her most tragic time after losing her best friend. Silver linings for sure, and that was how Stella lived her life.

Her best friend, Liz, and Liz’s husband were in real estate, and when they decided to open an office, Liz told Stella that they’d bought a two-room cabin—one room for the real estate office and one room for Stella’s beauty parlor. The week before they were supposed to open, Liz was killed in a logging truck accident. Bereft and despairing, Liz’s husband told Stella to get her real estate license, because that was the only way to keep the business going and stay in the house. So that’s what Stella did. She sold real estate for fifty years, and at her peak, she owned ten houses herself.

Grandma Stella treated me like I was an adult from the time I was a baby. She emphasized that I needed to be successful all on my own. She said I needed to have a career and to use my smarts, and to have a strong work ethic. She taught me how to drive when I was only ten.

I have to admit that Grandma Stella did drink too much—you could say it’s the family curse. When she’d had too much, I was able to convince her to let me drive us home in our orange Subaru with a stick shift. But I was twelve years old at the time!

Still, even with two parents who loved me, and with Grandma Stella taking care of me in the summers, for the next four years, I felt so much imbalance in my life at home. My mom was working such incredibly long hours that by the time she got home, she was so exhausted from her day she couldn’t really help me with the schoolwork I struggled with. Some nights, I would end up staying the night at a babysitter’s house, or a best friend’s house, which seemed fine at the time, but looking back, wasn’t so great for my learning process—or getting me past my dislike of schoolwork, period. The only positive thing to come out of this imbalance was that, over the years, it helped me become a highly adaptable person who can fit into new and different environments with ease.

I’m literally happy staying anywhere, with anyone who is nice. I realize now that these childhood experiences have actually helped me embrace all kinds of people and help them feel at ease with me—which is crucial when I’m asking them to trust me in changing their lives. I know people who, as children, never had to leave their comfort zones—and that of course can be wonderful—but I can tell they have a very hard time adapting to circumstances that seem strange to them, and they have trouble sleeping in places that are unfamiliar to them. I know this seems like a quirky silver lining from my childhood—but nothing rattles me when it comes to sleep. I can literally sleep under a table and wake up refreshed and raring to go.

It was also during this unsettling period of my childhood that I discovered something that never left me: my own body. As I grew older, I began to feel strong and confident physically, and I became even more connected to my own physicality. What started as a survival technique eventually became my true calling as I learned how to connect the body to the mind.

“I discovered s


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