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July 09 , 2009

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family


A Newsday Best Cookbook of 2007: can a recipe change your life? A quest for an authentic dish reveals a mythic love story and age-old culinary secrets.

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James Beard Award-winning author Laura Schenone undertakes a quest to retrieve her great grandmother's ravioli recipe, reuniting with relatives as she goes. In lyrical prose and delicious recipes, Schenone takes the reader on an unforgettable journey from the grit of New Jersey's industrial wastelands and the fast-paced disposable culture of its suburbs to the dramatically beautiful coast of Liguria—the family's homeland—with its pesto, smoked chestnuts, torte, and, most beloved of all, ravioli, the food of celebration and happiness. Schenone discovers the persistent importance of place, while offering a perceptive voice on immigration and ethnicity in its twilight. Along the way, she gives us the comedies and foibles of family life, a story of love and loss, a deeper understanding of the bonds between parents and children, and the mysteries of pasta, rolled into a perfect circle of gossamer dough.

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