RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – When Claudia Rovegno and her family first moved from Italy to Ridgewood four years ago, Rovegno spent her days alone.
“My husband, every morning went to the city to handle his own business, and I was at home alone,” she said. “Kids at school, and no friends, no relatives.”
After two months, Rovegno had to do something.
So she did what she does best: She started cooking.
With the help of her husband, Roberto Santagati, she set up a website to advertise her authentic Italian cooking and rented space in a commercial kitchen in Hawthorne. She prepared food in the mornings, and delivered the meals in the afternoons.
After almost a year, business was so good that the pair decided to fulfil Rovegno’s dream of opening a small restaurant.
On May 14, 2015, they opened From Scratch.
“My idea forever was to have a very small place where I could spoil my customers with all my grandma’s recipes,” Rovegno, who lived in Rome before moving to Ridgewood, said on a recent afternoon at her homey restaurant on East Ridgewood Avenue.
Rovegno said she started to cook with her grandmother back in Italy when she was about 5 years old.
“I was completely fascinated from everything she made and then the skill and the capabilities that she had to create such good food from nothing,” Rovegno said.
“She really taught me everything I know right now. I don’t remember one day of my life without pots and pans in my hands,” she said.
Rovegno said everything in the restaurant is made fresh. “When I receive the order in the kitchen, I cook,” she said.
About 50 to 60 percent of the food served is imported from Italy, including all the pasta, cheese, tomatoes, oil, anchovies, tuna, capers and coffee, she said.
The rest is purchased fresh and local. For example, their chicken is from Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff, and vegetables and salad are from Abma’s Farm in Wyckoff, she said.
“I really want to do something different and something special, giving the best quality of ingredients that I can find year-round,” she said.
Rovegno said she wants her customers to come into her restaurant and feel like they are in Italy. She also wants them to feel like they are in her home.
“The kind of cooking that I do in my kitchen is not sophisticated or elaborate. I am not a star chef. I am just a mom,” she said. “Because I am a mom, I always cook for my family. And now my family are my customers.”
For more information on From Scratch, CLICK HERE .