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Search for Authentic Ravioli Forges Family Bonds

Dec 8, 2007 (All Things Considered)

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For Laura Schenone, finding her roots meant crossing the globe for ravioli.

The New Jersey writer set off on a quest to find her great-grandmother's hand-rolled ravioli recipe. Along the way, she reunited with relatives and helped mend frayed relations with others around the dinner table.

Her new memoir, The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family, chronicles her five-year journey to reclaim her Genoese great-grandmother's recipe, which had been altered since the turn of the last century. Schenone, who writes about food for major publications, travels from New Jersey to the tiny Italian region of Liguria.

In the kitchens of her family elders, she painstakingly learns the art of making ravioli dough. Schenone then spends years perfecting her dough technique. As she relentlessly works the dough, she shares her family's story — its losses, problems and foibles — and helps bridge familial divides.

Schenone showed Andrea Seabrook how to make her great-grandmother's ravioli in NPR's kitchen.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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