Onesto chef shares his grandma's recipe for fried cauliflower
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Onesto chef shares his grandma's recipe for fried cauliflower

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Post Comfort Food for publication April 29, 2020 Nick Lograsso of Onesto's

Restaurateur Nick Lograsso had no trouble naming his favorite comfort food, his beloved grandmother’s fried cauliflower tops his list. He turned to his sister Johnna to recreate his Nan’s much-loved dish. Photo by Pat Eby

In challenging times favorite family recipes not only bring good tastes to our tables but also revive sweet memories in our hearts of people close to us. Nick Lograsso of Onesto Pizza & Trattoria knew his comfort food favorite was his Sicilian grandmother’s fried cauliflower, but he needed a family connection to get the details.

“I called my sister Johnna for the recipe,” he says. “She was the one who used to make it with our Nan — that’s what we called our grandmother. My brother Michael and I ate it, but we didn’t cook with Nan.

“Nan was old-school Sicilian, church every day at St. Joan of Arc, lighting candles and all. If I scraped my knee, she’d light a candle. She was always the grandma who said, no matter what, ‘You need to eat more’ and then she would feed us.

“When we got to be older and didn’t come around as much, she’d call and say ‘I made fried cauliflower. Who wants to come and get it?’ It was as much a way of getting to see us as giving us the treat.

“Well, our brothers-sister joke was always, ‘Who’s going to go?’ We all wanted to get it because we knew, whoever went, half of that cauliflower would be gone by the time it got to the house.”

In her well-written recipe, Johnna confirmed her brother’s story. She wrote, “Make sure you are alone when you make this because they will be eaten before you ever get them on the dish!” Johnna doubles the recipe we’ve printed for her family when she makes it today. It scales perfectly.

Nan passed on her good cooking skills, concern for others and thoughtful kindnesses to Nick Lograsso, knowledge and traits that helped him build Onesto into a friendly neighborhood restaurant serving Italian specialties made from scratch, fresh each day.

During this pandemic, Onesto’s customers have given their support to the restaurant that became a neighborhood favorite since its opening in 2018 by ordering carryout now that indoor service is no longer an option.

“We are still offering our same Onesto quality. We continue to make our own sauces. Our pizza guy comes in every day to make fresh dough. We still hand toss each crust.

“Our menu has shortened, but we’re still making appetizers, pastas and entrees. None of our quality has suffered, but now our food comes in take-home boxes.”

On the sweet side, the tiramisu is a brisk seller, as is the restaurant’s No. 1 adult beverage. “Our sangria sales are off the charts now,” he says. “Check our Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram for our sangria offerings.” Lograsso makes the specialty sangrias himself each week, varying the flavors as the seasons change.

“Here at Onesto, myself and my business partner Terry Tousey are extremely humbled and thankful for the neighborhood, our local community, and customers for stepping up to take care of us as a small business. My staff is grateful, too. It means the world to us,” Lograsso says.

“We’ll be here opening the door when its safe, to welcome customers back to our patio and our restaurant, again.”


Onesto Pizza & Trattoria

5401 Finkman Street

314-802-8883; onestopizza.com

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