The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken

Can a recipe change your life?

Award-winning author Laura Schenone goes on an quest to retrieve a long-lost family recipe, traveling from New Jersey's gritty industrial wastelands and the fast-paced disposable culture of its suburbs to the dramatically beautiful coast of Liguria — with its pesto, smoked chestnuts, torte, and — most beloved of all — ravioli, the food of celebration and happiness. Along the way, she gives us the comedies and heartbreaks of family life, a story of love and loss, and the mysteries of pasta, rolled into a perfect circle of gossamer dough.

Reviews for The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken

Laura Schenone writes that a ravioli is like “an envelope with a message.” So too is her unusual book, the message being that authentic recipes are as difficult to come by as happy families.

— Anne Mendelson, Saveur

“…a solidly researched, lovingly written memoir-and a splendid detective story.” Read the whole review.

— Mara Zapeda, Philadelphia Weekly

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken” is excerpted in Reader’s Digest, December, 2007.

Search for Authentic Ravioli Forges Family Bonds, Listen here.

— Dec. 8, 2007 segment on NPR’s All Things Considered

A powerful and ever-so-literate storyteller, asks the question, “Can a recipe change your life?” and answers in the affirmative. The thread by which this wonderful story hangs is the quest to get the ancestral ravioli just right. Along the way, much else enters in: family feuds, gnocchi, pesto, the search for smoked chestnut flour in New Jersey, recipes timed by saying two Our Fathers. A handed-down ravioli pin turns out to be a key part of the secret.

— Sylvia Carter, Newsday

“A feast for the mind and the heart, as well as the palate.” Read it all here.

— Newsweek Online Exclusive

“Sweet and savory, tender and true.”

— Body and Soul Magazine

“Part memoir, part culinary journey, The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken chronicles Laura Schenone’s obsessive search for her Genoese great-grandmother’s ravioli recipe.” Read it all here.

Food and Wine Magazine


Entertainment Weekly

“Fascinating and memorable…” ElleMagazine Readers Prize finalist.

— Elle Magazine

“Hoping to re-create her Nonna’s signature dish, the author travels from New Jersey to Italy, where local cooks compel her to re think a family myth. E delizioso.”

Good Housekeeping, December 2007 Book Pick

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family is a culinary detective story, a family confessional, and a moving meditation on assimilation and authenticity.”

The Star Ledger

“…illuminating, personal, and even suspenseful.”

— NJ Monthly

“Her fierce honesty and relentless questioning ('at what point is this an egotistical labor?'), skillful handling and dismantling of family myth, refusal to romanticize Italy and historian’s knack for sketching the big picture in a few broad strokes allows this poignant book to transcend the specificity of its subject matter.”

— Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

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