In 2012, her parents — Joe and Cynthia — opened their restaurant, Joanne Trattoria, in their neighborhood and, on Tuesday, released their first cookbook. Joanne Trattoria Cookbook includes a collection of the Italian eatery’s recipes; snapshots of Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) and her younger sister Natali, 24, from their family photo album; and even memories shared by the famous family.
PEOPLE has an exclusive excerpt from the book, in which Gaga’s mom Cynthia recalls a memorable Thanksgiving celebration after her daughter began topping the charts.
“For Thanksgiving we decided to have a small dinner at the restaurant for the family and a few close friends who were in town. We weren’t even open yet, but we bought linens and set up tables in the back. The girls and I decorated for the holiday,” 62, writes in the book.
“In the end, our small dinner swelled to over thirty guests: chef Art Smith and his husband, artist Jesus Salgueiro; our daughters and their boyfriends; some people from Stefani’s tour who were in the city for the holiday; and a number of close friends and family members.”
Gaga, ever the performer, would go on to make the gathering even more memorable.
“Before sitting down to dinner that night, we all gathered for a drink at the bar. As we finished our cocktails and moved to the back of the restaurant to sit down to dinner, Natali remarked that it’s a good luck tradition to break a plate. I looked over at Stefani, who was standing in the threshold of the dining area,” Cynthia continues in the passage.
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“She had picked up a plate and had it raised hands-over-head. I gasped as she slammed the plate down. It shattered and chipped one of our brand new floor tiles. Joe was not happy about that, but it became an unforgettable moment from a very special night that our family will always cherish.”
Indeed, the Germanottas are known for their focus on family: Both their restaurant, as well as Gaga’s new No. 1 album, were named after Joe’s late sister Joanne, who died at age 19 of complications from lupus.
Try Joanne Trattoria Cookbook‘s “Nutellasagna” recipe, a sweet dessert spin on the traditional Italian favorite from the restaurant’s chef Travis Jones.
Joanne Trattoria’s ‘Nutellasagna’ Recipe
16 oz. mascarpone cheese
7 sheets of puff pastry
8 egg yolks, separated into 2 bowls
24 oz. chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella)
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 tbsp. water
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Line a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
3. In a separate bowl mix 3 egg yolks and water to make egg wash for puff pastry and set aside. (3 yolks to 3 tbsp. water.)
4. In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, mix together the mascarpone cheese, the other 5 egg yolks and confectioners sugar until combined and thickened. Set aside.
5. Brush the outside edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash, being careful not to put too much.
6. Take a scoop of chocolate hazelnut spread and spread it on the puff pastry evenly, being careful not to get any along the egg-washed edges.
7. Carefully place another piece of puff pastry on top, lining up the edges. On this layer you will do the same and brush egg wash around the edges of the puff pastry.
8. Then take a scoop of mascarpone mixture and spread evenly, careful not to get it on the egg-washed edges.
9. Repeat, alternating between egg-washed layers, mascarpone, and hazelnut spread, until the topmost layer is just the puff pastry.
10. Press down the edges to make sure it’s sealed all the way around and that there is no leaking mascarpone. Brush the top with egg wash and place in the oven for 25–35 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and turned golden brown.
11. Serve hot and dust with powdered sugar.