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Come On-A My House

Food. Family. History. From the North End to Belair Drive. (1938-2010)

Andrea Malloni & Len Malloni


For the better part of three quarters of a century, this mother's love has endured not only in the care of her family, but in her kitchen as well. By collecting a few of her most favorite recipes along with some of our favorite photos, we will keep her memory alive for many generations to come. Not just her memory, but a taste from Nina's oven. No one will be able to duplicate those great family meals enjoyed by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It is our hope that through this book her legacy will live on. We promise to remember, love, honor and obey, without a taste of the wooden spoon.

-Len Malloni, 2011

Beginning of family dinners, 362 1/2 Bay Street North, Hamilton Ontario Circa 1949

Culinary talent and style to spare. Anita, June 1970.

Wedding Day in Hamilton Ontario Canada September 2, 1939


Small braided ropes of happiness. These cookies are a challenge due to the very soft nature of the dough and the delicacy needed in keeping the dough mixture from getting sticky. Not entirely unlike a good marriage.

Cream the milk, shortening and sugar together. Add vanilla to the beaten eggs and add eggs to the creamed shoretning mixture. Add baking powder to 1/3 of the flour. Add to mixture. Add 1/2 of the milk mix and add the rest of the milk and flour slowly so that the dough remains soft and not sticky. Roll the dough into fairly long ropes approximately 6 inches inches long. Bend in the middle and then twist the rope around itself so as to create a braid approximate 3 inches long

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove from over Allow the cookies to slightly cool until they can be handled Set on a table or icing sheet and use a knife to spread the glaze on the top of the cookie to make a light coating on each cookie.

DOUGH 1/2 pound of crisco

1/2 pound of margarine

2 cups of sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

10 eggs beaten 4-5 oz of milk


tbls of baking powder


pounds of sifted all purpose flour


1 pound of icing sugar & 1/4 pound of fruit sugar Juice of 1 lemon

Stuffed olive assembly line. Basement of Belair Drive circa 1962

Stuffed Ascolano Olives

Learning to carefully cut a small continuous spiral band of olive flesh away from the pit is a rite of passage but far less difficult than beating others to the fridge for leftovers. Making these regional delicacies became an annual family tradition with many laughs and much wine.

Boil all of the meat and mince in a meat grinder until soft & malleable in consistency. Mix the meat fully in a large bowl adding lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Select 1 gallon of the largest Green Queen olives available. Using a small paring knife, slice into the olive on a diagonal starting at the top. Turn the olive to pull the blade through the flesh in one continuous spiral making a single coil. Roll the pork/chicken mixture into small balls and wrap the olive coil around the ball ensuring that the coil remains in one piece.

Dredge the stuffed olive in egg wash and then roll in breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly. Set aside. Repeat. Deep fry breaded olives in oil at high temperature until golden brown. Drain on a plate with a paper towel. Uncooked prepared olives can be flash frozen and stored for future decadency.

Stuffing Ingredients

6 Chicken Breasts (boiled) set stock aside

3 1/2 pounds of pork (boiled) 10 eggs

1 cup of cheese (Romano)

1 cup of bread crumbs Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of chicken stock


Early 60s with Silvana & Richard. Denny's Cedar Lodge, Sauble Beach Ontario

Dry Roasted Chicken & Olives

As a general rule, this dish was roasted until it was shoe leather, and made regularly as an all year meal. Prepared better with a gas oven instead of electric stove and frequently served at holidays and after dusting off the sand at Sauble Beach.

In a large roasting pan, place chicken thighs, drumsticks or entire sectioned chicken. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and salt and pepper the chicken. Place whole garlic cloves (shelled) and generous amounts of crushed rosemary into the pan. Empty a jar of small green olives on top of the seasoned chicken. Use hands to thoroughly mix and coat all ingredients with the olive oil in the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour and 1/2. At intervals and as required, drain off the water/liquid to keep the chicken as dry as possible. Turn the chicken frequently.

Roasted potatoes can be cooked at the same time in the same pan, or old-school style, boiled, diced and served with dipping oil made from olive oil and generous heaps of salt and pepper to dunk. Standard greens of cooked rapini or swiss char were a complimentary side dish.

This dish can also be presented as "Annie's All In One". In a single pan, in 3 rows: chicken in one strip, roasted peppers in the second, potatoes in the third.

Bay St. backyard beside the gate to nowhere. Hamilton, Ontario circa 1952

Chocolate Walnut Icebox Cookies

A holiday favourite and primarily for the kids and never made at any other time of year. Anita would keep

these chocolate round disk cookies in a painted white enamel tin box, with each layer of cookies separated by a sheet of wax paper.


1 cup of butter

1 1/2 cup of sugar 2/3 cup of cocoa

2 eggs

1 cup chopped walnuts (very fine)

3 cups of flour (monarch) 1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter and add sugar gradually. Add the slightly beaten egg and chopped nuts. Sift together

the flour, baking powder, salt and coca and add to the first mixture. Flour a pastry board and roll out the dough into the shape of a log approximately two inches in diameter. Roll in wax paper and put in the fridge overnight. The next day unwrap from the wax paper and slice into quarter inch discs and place on

a cookie sheet to bake. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

North End Family Portrait, 1950 Rosemarie (7), Umberto (42), Lennie (4), Anita (28), Albert (newborn), Laura (9).

Pineapple Cookies

A favorite at Christmas time and at the special request of Umberto.

Blend all dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the egg, add vanilla and crushed pineapple, shortening, and then add dry ingredients slowly to blend together. Spoon the mixture onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Ingredients 1/2 cup of shortening 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of crushed pineapple

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 tsp salt


cup brown sugar




cups flour (Five Rose)

Bake at 375 degrees until done

Learning the trade and passing the torch. Serving the stracciatella. Christmas Day, early 90's

Stracciatella Soup

No holiday meal complete without it - stracciatella is the required first course of all family holiday meals in a traditional Italian home.

Heat the stock or broth to a boil over high heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs with the parmesan and parsley and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add breadcrumbs to form a thick paste.

Dip a whisk into the egg and breadcrumb paste mixture and whisk the paste into the boiling stock. Continue to add the paste in this manner until all used up. Serve Immediately.

Soup Base Ingredients

4 cups chicken stock or broth

Paste Mixture Salt and pepper




tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

And regular fine breadcrumbs as required to form a thick paste

If stock is made from scratch, boiled meat would be served with oil, salt and pepper to taste.

"Little Albert" and Anita, Mid 1950s. Basement of Bay St. house, Hamilton, Ontario.


A king size treat! Akin to Italian Funnel Cake. Anytime she felt like it, a small batch would be whipped up on a Friday after school.

Add all ingredients together in a bowl to form a batter. Get oil boiling and scoop a soup ladle of batter at a time. Deep fry until golden. Drain on a paper towel. Shake icing sugar on

loosely to give a light coating. Diamond Beverage cola.

Best eaten warm and dunked in granulated sugar with





tsp baking powder


cups of flour (5 Rose)


tbs oil

sugar to taste (approx 3 tbs) pinch of salt juice of a lemon a jigger of mistra (like an anisette)

Cooking on vacation in Italy

Nonna's Lasagna

No Christmas complete without this second course staple. Paper thin pasta with more layers than can be imagined. Sparingly dressed with just enough sugo. Liberal with cheese, love and gratitude.

When boiling the pasta, only add a few layers of pasta at a time. Place cooked pasta into a bowl of cold water to halt the

cooking and cool for handling. Line the bottom of the lasagna pan with a layer of sugo. Add a layer of pasta in one direction,


more sugo, grate mozzarella over the top, add another layer of pasta in the opposite direction. Checkering and alternating


pattern ensures the stability of large portions of lasagna when cutting to serve. Repeat for as many layers as the pan will

take. Bake at 350 for approx. 40 minutes.

Sugo Ingredients


pounds total of veal, pork and beef (ground)


cans of diced tomatoes


cans of pureed tomatoes


can of tomato paste

Saute onions, garlic, parsley, in oil Add the meat to brown and ensure that the meat is fully separated into small parts Once cooked, add tomatoes and let simmer


12 eggs

8 cups of flour

12 1/2 shells of water into the mix

Mix and knead thoroughly. Run though pasta maker at thinnest possible setting.

Trim into rectangular strips the length of the pan.

Summer of 1949, Backyard of 397 Bay Street North, Hamilton

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are not complete without Nonna's trademark criss-cross pattern on the top made with the tongs of a


to flatten the dough.


all dry ingredients in a bowl together. Beat eggs and add into the mixture with vanilla. Measure out cookie

dough with a large table spoon. Remove the dough onto a cookie sheet with a knife. Dip a fork in flour and then stamp the ball of dough in one direction and then the other to create a criss-cross pattern on the top of the cookie. Nonna would often freeze the baked cookies or keep them in her fruit cellar in a white enameled metal tin box. Ready for kids on a moment's notice.


1 1/2 cups of sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda 1/4 teaspoon of salt


cup of sugar


cup of brown sugar


cup of shortening


cup of peanut butter

2 eggs

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup of walnuts

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes

Nonna's Nipoti (minus one) Circa 1979


On average, each nuclear family would receive 80 raviolis for their Christmas or New Year's Day dinner. All 320 would usually be made on a single day, assembly line style. The pasta would be so paper thin, it was almost translucent. Served both "red" and "white" (butter, cheese & black pepper) style.


3 whole chicken breasts & 3 pounds of pork

10 eggs (beaten)

juice from 1 lemon salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of boiled spinach chopped finely (optional)

1 cup of breadcrumbs

1 1/2 cups of Romano cheese

1 cup of chicken broth

Boil the chicken and pork separately and set aside. Grind the meat together. Add the other ingredients evenly to blend. Once all mixed set aside (can be refrigerated.





1/2 shells of water

8 cups of flour

Make into dough and run through pasta maker at a thin setting (but not thinnest setting) and set strips aside

Using standard ravioli molds, layer with one strip of pasta, place small meatballs of mixture into tray. Add another layer of pasta and press with a small rolling pin to press seams together. Pop out of tray and set aside to dry on a floured board. If to be stored, freeze on a cookie sheet immediately. Once frozen, they can be put into a ziplock bag for use later.

Dress with Nonna's Sugo or alternatively, butter and Parmesean Cheese and Black Pepper.

Young Anita with parents Nazzareno and Assunta Salvatori and brothers Louie and Dante. Circa 1934.

Lady Fingers

Reserved for special events: weddings, showers, baptisms, and special hallmarks of family life. These require the right equipment (her special trays) and best wishes for the intended recipient. Fluffy, light, and melt in your mouth.


12 eggs

3 cups of sugar (granulated)

19 tbs of flour

Beat it fully until its quite fluid This batter will make 72 fingers

Grease the pans generously with crisco Fill each tray to just below level as the fingers will rise when baked (do not overfill trays) Bake for 7 minutes at 400F degrees Pop them out and set to cool When cool, dress with icing sugar before presenting!

On some occasions, the core is hollowed out when cool and lemon pie filling is scooped inside with the cap replaced and then generously dusted with powdered sugar.

Anita with brother Louie. Circa 1926.

Butter Tarts

Always to be eaten with a side of banana! Makes 12 tarts

Filling Ingredients

1 egg

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tsp of vinegar

1 tsp of vanilla

1/4 cup of melted butter 1/2 cup of raisins

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes

TART SHELL Use Nonna's pie crust recipe (side of the Tenderflake box!) and cut discs using the bottom of a can scalloped with her fingers.

Beat eggs until well blended. Beat in the sugar. add the vanilla and vinegar. Stir in the melted butter & raisins. Fill your tart shells, bake & eat (or hide from Uncle Len).

Anita, Len & Umberto at a family wedding in Hamilton. Early 60's.

Cosmo's Chocolate Cake

A painstaking cake to make and Len's favourite. Named after a friend of Anita's who loved to bake.

Ingredients 1/2 cup of shortening


cup of milk & 1 cup of sugar


teaspoon of vanilla




cups of cake & pastry flour


teaspoons of baking powder & 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda


tablespoons of cocoa (Fry's)

Beaten with a hand mixer until well blended Divide the mixture into two 8 inch circular pans (well greased) Cook for 25 minutes at 350 degrees Once baked, turn over on a rack to cool.


1 egg white chilled

1 cup of white sugar (granulated)

1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar 1/2 cup of boiling water 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract added at the very end Boil the water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved Stir mixture over the egg white until dissolved Allow it to cool and then beat it adding the remainder of the ingredients. It will become very fluffy

Place icing in the center of the two cake layers and then ice cake in full with large metal spatula in large peaks.

Anita, Laura, Rosemarie, Lennie & Little Albert circa 1953.

Banana Bread

Waste not, want not. And if all the bananas in the house were eaten, no bread would be made. Never a better excuse to delay the pleasure.


2 1/4 cups of cake flour

1 1/4 cups of sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/2 cup of shortening

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup of mashed bananas

Sift the flour. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add 1/2 of the bananas and beat for two minutes. Add the remainder of the bananas, the egg and the vanilla and beat until fluid

into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 until a toothpick comes clean from the center (approx. 25 minutes)


Grating fresh lemon zest and preparing for company.

Ciameloto (Strozza Cake)

Nonna's breakfast staple. Eaten sliced with copious amount of butter and a cup of tea or

coffee. Its name literally translated means "Choke Cake" because of how dry it is. This was

one of Anita's favourite cakes to make and there was always one tucked away in the freezer

ready to be served to unexpected guests.


4 cups of flour

6 teaspoons of baking powder Pinch of salt 1/3 cup of shortening


cup of sugar




cup of milk

zest of 1 lemon

Mix all dry ingredients by hand in a bowl. Blend the other ingredients together in a separate

bowl. Mix the dry ingredients in slowly to fully incorporate. Once blended, grease a cookie sheet, and add the batter in two oval loaves on the sheet. The mixture will be lumpy and uneven. Put it in the over at 350 for 35 minutes. Once cooled, slice the loaves as needed.

Anita at the post, putting finishing touches on another family feast.

Fried Zucchini

Always served at every major family event (particularly in the summer when in season). Loved by nearly everyone as a side-dish. No leftovers to be had. The real art of this dish is in the batter.

Wash and slice the zucchini into fairly thin discs with the skin intact. Prepare the batter and dip the zucchini into the batter and immediately place into hot oil for deep frying. Drain on a paper towel.

Batter Ingredients 3/4 cup of starch 1/2 cup of flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 egg salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup of water Beat until viscous.

"Let's get cooking Annie!" Umberto & Anita's engagement. Spring of 1938.

Easter Cheese Bread (AKA Cacca Cake)

No Easter meal would be complete without serving this popular cake. Its strong pungent aroma (blame the heavy use of Romano cheese) earned it the nickname of "Cacca Cake" among the new generation. Easter Monday after all the dishes had been washed and the master meal complete, leftover Cacca Cake was a breakfast favorite served sliced with butter. Brush teeth immediately after consumption!


cups of all purpose flour


cups of grated romano cheese

1 Tbsp sugar 1/2 tbsp salt

1 pkg yeast

1 cup eggs (3-4 whole)

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup table cream (18%) 1/4 cup oil

2 Tsp. baking powder

1/4 Tsp. spanish saffron

Combine the first 4 ingredients. on a large surface and make a small well in the centre. Prepare yeast as directed on package. When ready mix into the dry mixture. Add eggs slightly beaten, butter, cream, oil and spanish saffron juice (purchased at any pharmacy and boiled in 1/2 cup of water, strained and juice used). Mix all ingredients well. Knead approx 20 minute and let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours. Knead again and place in two greased loaf pans. Let rise for 6-8 hours. Set oven at 375F. Brush top of bread with beaten egg yolk and bake for approx. 1 hour until golden brown.

Wedding at the Hillcrest. Circa 1976.

Anita's Coffee Cake

One of Anita's signature recipes and you would rarely find the counter in her basement kitchen without it. Usually served plain with a cup of coffee and a strong opinion or two on family or world politics.

3 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 3 tsp of baking powder , 1/2 tsp of baking soda , 1/2 tsp of salt (combine all above and sift and sifted)

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shortening 1/2 cup margarine

1 tsp vanilla

Topping 1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup walnuts finely chopped

1 tsp vanilla

Combine all dry ingredients together and sift into a large bowl (with the exception of the sugar). Set aside. Beat and blend all of the remaining ingredients including the sugar. Spoon the dry incredients to the wet ones while it is blending in a mixmaster ensuring that it is fully encorporated before adding additional mixture. Work slowly until dry incredients are fully mixed in. Pour it into a greased bundt pan (standard size). Bake at 350F for 35 minutes .

Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour 1/2 of the batter into the bundt pan and add 1/2 the topping ingredients in the circumference of the pan. Add remaining batter. Use the remaining topping mixture on the top of the batter before baking. Bake at 350 degree for 35 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Capodarco, Ascoli Piceno Italy. Summer of 1951.

Maritozzi (Sweet Marriage Bread)

Traditional sweet bread from Le Marche. Can be shaped either as long narrow loaves or round sourdough shaped loaves. In some regions, served at Easter time after lent.

Two loaves on a single baking sheet Ingredients




oz oil (vegetable)


oz raisins

8 oz milk 12 oz sugar

1 pkg yeast

aniseed to taste All purpose flour as needed to allow formation Bake at 375F for 20 minutes

Mix all ingrdients in a bowl, add flour as needed to give the loaf some form and a dough like consistency. Let rise for 1-1.5 hours in a clay or ceramic bowl coved with a tea towel. Once doubled in size, punch back. Knead it and let rise again for 1 hour. Form loaves and placed on greased baking sheets. Before baking, baste the tops of the loaves with egg yolk to give it a golden top. Once cooled, sliced and served either with or without butter.

Celebrating Anita's birthday, 2005

Annie's Perfect Pastry in 6 Easy Steps

Yeilds 3 nine inch double crust pies (or 6 single pie shells)



cups of cake & pastry flour


tsp salt


pound of Tenderflake lard


tsp vinegar


egg lightly beaten

cold water to work the crust

Mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the Tenderflake lard with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Combine vinegar and beaten egg along with cold water to make 1 cup. Gradually stir liquid into the Tenderflake mixture. Add only enough water to make the dough cling together. Gather into a ball and divide into 6 portions. If desired, wrap unused portion and refrigerate or freeze. Roll out each onto a lightly floured surface. If dough is sticking, chill 1 to 2 hours. Transfer dough to pie plate. Trim and flute shells or crusts and bake according to your recipe.

Double crust pies include apple, cherry and Anita's famous strawberry rhubarb. Single crust pies include lemon, banana cream, and pumpkin. Cardinal rule: Don't dirty the oven for just one pie.

Malloni family meal, 3 generations. Men at the top of the table. Women and children at the bottom. 26 Belair Dr. Hamilton, Ontario. Mid 1980s.


Funny how fortune and love shape-shift over time and depending on need. In building this book, we discovered that for Anita, love took the shape of a back stoop smile, an enameled white tin full of baked goods, and a table of priceless handmade bounty. In one miraculous moment, she eased our grief with the discovery of her handwritten recipes. An invitation to know her, our family history, and each other again. To turn the loss into beautiful testimony and

personal history. This is true fortune. This is past love made real for future generations. Memory is defined as "the length of time over which recollection extends: a time within the memory of living persons." Her beauty, spirit, dedication to family and her originality

live on in us.

-Andrea Malloni, 2011

In loving memory of Mom, Nonna, Nina. Anita (nee Salvatori) Malloni (1922-2010)