Nonna Carla was a great cook. Or so I have been told; I was too little when she passed away to remember.
But there are always the stories… I don’t think she knew how to make anything when she got married and there was something or the other about a giant panettone spilling all over the communal village oven – That, of course, didn’t stop her: if that, it made her more determined and adventurous in the kitchen.
It seems that once she did learn how to cook she loved feeding family and friends and she virtually fed my parents when they had married and were living in Panama, across the world from her home in Ostia, by enclosing some of her recipes to the long letters she wrote regularly.
According to these recipes, she didn’t really believe in measurements and cooked ‘to taste’ – I guess I am not surprised by the panettone thing, then…
It took mum a really long time to figure out the exact proportions for her stuffed onions and get them to taste like nonna’s – They are a little laborious, but freeze well and can be reheated from frozen in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes. They might not be the prettiest, but they are comforting and will warm your soul.Print
- White onions (the bigger the better)
- Ground meat – We use veal, but a mix of pork and beef could work too
- A slice of bread soaked in milk
- Grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
- A glass of white wine
- Peel the onions, halved them crosswise and soften them in boiling water for 15 minutes;
- In the meantime mix all other ingredients (except for the breadcrumbs and wine) in a big bowl;
- Drain the onions well and separate the layers carefully so you are left with little ‘bowls’;
- Stuff the onions with the meat mix, top them with the breadcrumbs and some more Parmesan;
- Put the stuffed onions in a buttered baking tray with the white wine;
- Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes ensuring the onions remain tender to the touch.
Keywords: main courses, Italian food