Ok I’m split in two. My mother’s side of the family hail from a town outside of Naples and my father’s side from a town outside of Rome. I don’t really know much about dad’s side but I know alot more about mum’s. Having nonna and nonno babysit you from an early age, I didn’t learn to start speaking English until I started school. Everyone always spoke to me in Italian so it was my first language. Today, I get angry in Italian, think in Italian and enjoy poking fun at Mister in Italian. Mister is as Aussie as you can get. Blonde hair and blue eyed country boy from Albany, Western Australia, his idea of gourmet food is cheese on toast. He’s learning alot from me.

Nonna always has something on the table for me. Now that I don’t live with her anymore, when I visit she always thinks Mister and I don’t eat. Lasagna is always a must in her household. As I have mentioned it’s the best! I have tried making it before and while it tastes really good, sadly it’s not like hers. Her meatball spaghetti is perfection on a plate, fried calamari, meat and everything else is just amazing! I have to stop saying amazing. I do believe that if my grandmother makes cheese on toast it will be awesome than everyone else’s because she has so much flair and enjoys creating a dish to perfection. Sorry Masterchef judges but your foods don’t compare to her!

When I bought home Mister to meet my family for the first time, we were both nervous. However I had told Mister not to eat breakfast or lunch that day as we had organised with nonna to eat dinner with them at home. Boy, he was not expecting this. Nonna has to make an entre of pasta, first main of meat, second plate of fish, followed by chicken nibbles, roasted capsicum, salad, potatoes and mixed roasted veggies. Desert is coffee or tea with a homemade cake and a HUGE fruit platter. I think all of Mister’s Christmas’s had come at once. In the beginning he struggled to get used to  eating such a huge amount of food but he has learnt and nonna loves feeding him. Perfect match!

When I am forced to go to Italian restaurants for social gatherings, I always order a steak or seafood and salad combination. Why you ask? Well I don’t need to eat other Italian food other than nonnas. Plus many restaurants out there just don’t have the expertise of mastering homemade pizza and pasta.
I have found one restaurant though. Papa Gino’s in the famous “Little Italy” known as Lygon Street in Carlton. Never have I experienced a bad meal there. The only negative problem I have had is after each meal is finished I eventually have to go home, I can’t spend the rest of my life there eating, eventually I’ll have to get a job. I have tried at least 3/4 of the menu and it is awesome! Pizza’s are a work of art, pasta reminds you of the old country how they used to make it, seafood is perfection, it’s just a superb place to spend with your family on a night out. See, can you tell I’m Italian yet? I enjoy spending time with my family at the table eating. Papa Gino’s is one of Mister’s favourite Italian eateries as well.

And now, I thought I would try and pass off a trick that I developed only two years ago. Nonna hasn’t shown me how to make her lasagna just yet. It may be a case of, I’m just not that mature yet to learn as it does take her ages to make, however, I do know how to make a simpler version.

Louise’s Simple Yet Satisfying Lasagna


Raguletto pasta sauce Classic Romano with cheese x1
San Remo Lasagna sheets
Grated cheese (as little or much as you like)
Onion x1
Garlic x1
4 hard boiled eggs
Any herbs you may like
Salt and pepper
Mince meat (optional)


Chop onion and garlic and fry until brown in a saucepan. Start boiling eggs and pre-heat oven. Add mince meat if you prefer and cook through. Add pasta sauce with your herbs and salt and pepper.
Once sauce is cooked, in an over-proof dish start with one layer of lasagna sheets, place the sauce on the sheets, followed by sliced boiled eggs and cheese. Repeat this until you have reached the top of your oven-proof dish. Place in oven and cook until the cheese has melted and the lasagna sheets have cooked. Serve and enjoy.

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