Italian nonna Rosa Simon-Oston was born in the Calabrian countryside where life was simple and the food was from the land.

The 77-year-old Altona North resident said she was born in wartime when food was scarce, so her family used “product from the ground”.

She is submitting her recipe for a tubular pasta called fileja, handed down through generations, for the

Life on a Plate cookbook being published by Hobsons Bay libraries.

Residents are being invited to make submissions for the book, which will feature stories, photos and recipes highlighting Hobons Bay’s community, in which more than 30 per cent of residents were born overseas.

“Back in Italy, we had this plate on Sunday after we went to church in the morning,” Ms Simon-Oston said. “My mother prepared this special plate for Sunday dinner.”

She said the pasta was made by hand, with an instrument like a wooden knitting needle used to poke a hole in the fileja. The sauce is made with chunks of T-bone steak in sugo.

Submission forms are available from Laverton Community Hub, Seabrook Community Centre, Hobsons Bay library branches or online at

Submissions in English are preferred, but they may be submitted in other languages. For assistance, call the multicultural librarian on 99321338 or

Submissions close on Friday, September 1.