Saturday 6 December 2008

sugo di nonna

This is my Italian grandmother’s recipe and one of my 2008 food challenges.

I’m not Italian at all, but I spent time in Rome during 1999. While I was there I lived with an Italian family who adopted me whole-heartedly and their matriarch, Anna-Maria, became my “nonna”.

Every Sunday the family made a visit to Nonni’s house for a big, traditional multicourse lunch. The first time I went my Italian wasn’t very good and I ate multiple courses of the delicious pasta, only to discover it was the first of many courses!

When my sister Shamu visited we warned her not to sit next to Nonno because he’s infamous for serving mountainous portions and coaxing you to eat until you’re as stuffed as a foie gras goose. Of course when she walked in the door, Nonno ambushed her and piled her plate with more food than she could eat, ending with a “slice” (an entire quarter!) of watermelon.

During an impromptu visit to Rome in 2005, Nonna made a special Sunday lunch in my honour and this was one of the courses she made. Her sauce was served with slices of cold roast pork, so it’s a perfect way to dress up leftovers. I like it over warm pork chops and cutlets too.

It’s a simple and delicious recipe that I hope you’ll enjoy.

Sugo di Nonna (White Wine & Vegetable Sauce)

Anna-Maria’s very own recipe. Makes 350ml.


2 cups white wine
½ cup onion, finely chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped
½ cup carrot, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, extra
Salt and pepper


1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan. Add onion, celery, carrot then season with salt and pepper. Sauté gently for 10 minutes until softened.

2. Add white wine and parsley then simmer for another 10 minutes until alcohol has evaporated, liquid has reduced by half and the vegetables are quite soft.

3. Stir through extra butter and check seasoning, then serve over pork cutlets or slices of cold roast pork.



  1. OOohh secret family recipe haha sounds and looks really really good yuummmm ^^!

  2. This looks delicious! When I went to Italy I remember being very surprised to discover that pasta was considered an appetizer! Who knew?


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