Profile of Lucia Rossi Pavanello

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Appears in

In Nonna's Kitchen

In Nonna's Kitchen

By Carol Field

Published 1997

  • About

Lucia Rossi Pavanello has four great-grandchildren, ten grandchildren, and six grown children—three daughters and three sons, one of whom calls from Piedmont every morning at 7:30 as her personal alarm clock. Many of their friends call her Nonna Lucia—she’s grandmother to numerous self-adopted adults, undoubtedly because she’s so down-to-earth, so friendly and forthright and easy to confide in.

She wears soft pink blouses, has a rosy complexion that is set off by her luminous white hair and pearl earrings, sets the table with a pink tablecloth on which she puts deep pink roses, and has fingernails beautifully manicured with pink polish. She lights up when I ask about her children, but even without any prompting, many of her sentences begin, “My children love ...” and there follows a wonderful-sounding dish that may be as simple as sugoli, a thick, almost candylike gelatìna made from red grapes, or as complicated as a three-layered and -colored dessert filled with coffee-flavored pastry cream.