Joyce's grandmother, a small woman, barely 4'11" tall,
who read tea leaves during the Depression to help
support the family. But she also cooked! In fact, she
was hailed, along with her husband William, as the
neighborhood's best cook. Their Pasta and Bean Soup
(Pasta Fagiola) was famous on Nostrand Avenue in
Brooklyn. She and William cooked up a storm. Our
Manicotti is as close to Bella's as Joyce could make it,
and we found it to be one of our most popular items.
"I can still
hear Grandma Bella calling out from the kitchen in her
heavy voice to all of us at the dinner table, 'Mangia!
Mangia!' It was the signal to put to my lips the best
thing I had ever tasted -- and eat! As
I got a bit older, I was permitted in the kitchen to
learn from the master. She always spoke especially
loudly in her accented English when explaining a recipe
-- very important matters demand full attention! I only
hope I have done her recipes some justice here, and that
our customers will enjoy this food as much as I do."
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