Love and passion are infused into the traditional Italian food Angelina Trichilo cooks for her family. Mrs Trichilo, known to many as Nonna Angela, migrated to Albany with her husband in 1964 and has lived in the WA south coast city ever since. Hailing from the city of Siderno in the southern Italian region of Calabria, she cooks the traditional dishes of her homeland, many of which she learnt from her mother. She has passed down these skills to her daughter Lucy Turner, who has compiled her mother’s recipes and turned them into a new cookbook, Angelina’s Cucina. Ms Turner first put together some of her mother’s recipes as a wedding gift for her niece several years ago. It proved so popular with her family she decided to continue collating the recipes to produce a bigger book she could publish to a wider audience. Over the past four years, Ms Turner has worked on writing down recipes for her mother’s classic dishes, which she cooks “by instinct”. “Initially, when we first started off with my niece’s book, I had to start from scratch basically, because mum, she doesn’t have recipes,” Ms Turner said. “Everything that she cooks, it’s all in her head. “So I had to try and extract from her a bit of a basic recipe, and then we’ve kind of modified it and tweaked it and included measurements, like tablespoons and cups and all that sort of thing.” It was a long process. Ms Turner took every chance she could to get her mother to speak about her recipes, asking her to take her through her cooking methods on car trips to Perth, before she adapted the recipes by introducing measuring tools. But even after going through this process, Ms Turner said it was impossible to completely recreate the dishes as her mother would make them. “I’m going to admit, the measurements, they’re not perfect, because how can you perfect a recipe that’s been in someone’s head for so long?” she said. “She’s created it out of her own instincts, it’s not going to be the same each and every time.” The cookbook features her mother’s traditional Calabrese food and classic recipes, from Nonna’s Minestrone to potato fritters, pasta dishes and Ms Turner’s own recipes for Italian baked goods. It also celebrates the family’s story with pages telling the tale of Ms Turner’s parents’ migration to Australia and their early years in Albany, as well as their family traditions of tomato sauce and sausage-making days. Angelina’s Cucina is on sale at several stores in Albany, including Espresso One, the cafe owned by Mrs Trichilo’s son Cosi Trichilo, who said the book was a credit to the hard work of his mother and sister. “It’s really special, because it’s us, it’s our family,” he said. “It honours mum and what she’s done, and even just the stories that are in the book, it tells the experience that they had when they came over.” Mrs Trichilo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year and is undergoing treatment. Her daughter said that made the publication of the book even more meaningful. “It made me even more determined to get this book out in her honour,” she said. “So I’m just really pleased that she’s here to be able to see it and enjoy it.” Ms Turner said the feedback she had received from readers so far had been “awesome”. “Everyone that’s bought the book loves it, they enjoy the food, they enjoy the stories,” she said. “They have told me they feel like there’s a lot of love in the book, which I feel like there is too. It’s all about my mum and how I feel about my mum.” She has also received photos from readers of their attempts to recreate her mother’s recipes, which gives her a feeling she finds hard to put into words. “I don’t have a word to describe that feeling, an overwhelming sense of pride and joy and happiness and just that sense of people connecting too,” she said. Ms Turner was especially taken by a message from a woman who said she and her daughter had enjoyed reading through the book and picking out the recipes they wanted to make together. The mother-daughter bonding sessions that produced the book had led to similar experiences for another family. “Oh my gosh, I can’t even describe how overwhelmed I was,” Ms Turner said. “We created that for those people, and it’s just amazing. “I’m just blown away. I feel really, really proud and happy.” Angelina’s Cucina can be bought from Espresso One, Paperbark Merchants and AVEG in Albany, as well Al Fornetto Restaurant and Caitlin & Grace Gift Shop in Perth. It is available online at angelinascucina.com. Ms Turner and Mrs Trichilo will host a stall at the Albany Farmers Markets on September 24 and at the Colours Of Italy Festival in Perth on November 5 and 6.