Making Italian Gnocchi with Grandma Paola

Cooking with Grandma Paola

By Leslie Jonath, Eric Slatkin, and Blake Smith

Paola Bagnatori knows Italian food. And as managing director of the Museo ItaloAmericano, a museum in San Francisco dedicated to Italian and Italian American art and culture, she often teaches students her signature dish: Potato Gnocchi with Tomato-Porcini Sauce. With the help of her granddaughter, Isabella (who’s made this dish with her nonna a few times before), Paola discusses the proper preparation of dried porcini mushrooms, plays hot potato, and attempts to make her gnocchi in record time. This woman really is the Gnocchi Queen.

You know her by many names: YaYa, Nana, Bubbe, Gangy, Grandma. Cooking with Grandma celebrates family traditions. If you would like to nominate a San Francisco–based grandma for our series, please email Meredith Arthur with your contact information.