It’s always been a dream of mine to have an Italian grandma. Now, I’m far from Italian; I’m very much so an Asian-American girl, but I’m tired of dumplings and noodles and I just want spaghetti and meatballs. Carbs are my best friend and Italian food is loaded with them. Spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, macaroni… you name it, and they’ve got it. Just think of those delicious Italian recipes buried away in Nonna’s head.

1. Fresh Pasta and Homemade Sauces


Photo by Elisabetta Grondona

I tried to make homemade pasta once and it didn’t really go down too well. It was pretty dry and weirdly flaky, both of which are qualities nobody wants in their pasta. I can only dream about the homemade spaghetti, fettuccini, linguine, ravioli… Dress it up with marinara, Alfredo, pesto, pink vodka sauce, and more. You can even keep it simple and have cacio y pepe.

I want a nonna to show me the magical ways of making pasta and homemade sauces and as any grandmother, I know she would let me do a quality test before the rest of the family.

2. Fancy Pizza


Photo by Bridget Thom

Now think about pizza. There’s nothing like the saucy and cheesy goodness of a hot slice. Sicilian, thin crust, extra sauce, light on the sauce, extra cheese… Making your food allows you to customize it to your own liking and I know my own grandma loves to make me food just the way I like it.

3. Meatballs


Photo by Roger Kirby

Not only is there pizza and pasta, but there are also meatballs. Nonna probably has the best recipe around buried deep inside her head and I can picture spending time together making the meatballs before a big dinner party. You can’t have spaghetti without the meatballs, and Nonna and I would make plenty.

4. Cheese


Photo by Gabriella Fabbri

Parmesan is in nearly every Italian food item. Who doesn’t love cheese? Nonna would make sure you have plenty. Chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, meatball parmesan, oh my! What’s that you say? Put the breaded meat/veggie on top of more bread and eat it as a sandwich? I’ll be damned. The epitome of carbs on carbs.

5. Personality

Not that I don’t love my own grandmothers, but I would love myself a Nonna. Something about Italian culture and screaming over dinner attracts me. Italian grandmas, in particular, seem to not care too much and they let their opinions flow right of their mouths.

Honesty is the best policy, right? Italians are known for being passionate and expressive, and why not have that in the form of a sweet and kind grandma. And if she’s like most grandmothers, she’ll always offer you more food than you need.