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Lidia Bastianich's New Products and Children's Book

Nonna tells a story—and makes the best sauce I've ever tried.
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One of the highlights of my visit to June’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City—where more than 2,400 specialty food manufacturers were sampling their food and beverages—was happening upon Lidia Bastianich in her booth where she was sampling her line of six specialty pasta sauces and artisan pastas.

Hands down, her jarred sauces are the best I’ve ever tried. If I had been blindfolded, I wouldn’t have known they were jarred. Her new flavors—Chunky Eggplant, Tomato Basil and Artichoke Marinara—are sold as a trio for $17.99 at lidiasitaly.com. Or make someone’s day and send them her Italian Pasta Lover's Gift Basket ($125) filled with specialty dried pastas, aged carnaroli rice for risotto, whole plum tomatoes, olive oil and hand-harvested Sicilian sea salt.

It wasn’t a surprise that one of America’s favorite Italian cooks, teachers and cookbook authors would make extraordinary food. What was eye opening was that she’s written a children’s book that will debut in October. In Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia's Christmas Kitchen, Bastianich shares the story of the Christmases she used to celebrate with her grandparents in Italy, where she learned to cook with her Nonna Rosa by preparing food in their smokehouse and kitchen. She tells the story to her five grandchildren in this picture book filled with her Christmas traditions, recipes and decorating ideas.

And Lidia’s not the only author in the family. Her daughter Tanya Bastianich Manuali, who was working beside her in the booth, will also publish a book this October—Reflections of the Breast: The History of Breast Cancer Through the Eyes of Artists Through the Centuries. Denise Shoukas


Denise Shoukas is a regular foodspring.com contributor and is the author of foodspring’s food forager blog.

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