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Rosa Nasuti, better known as Mama Rosa to customers at Carlo & Son Quality Meats in East Lyme, passed away Sunday.
Until her recent illness, Mama Rosa could be found in the tiny kitchen in Carlo's butcher shop most every other Saturday fussing over a giant pot of simmering tomato sauce.
You could tell she was there as soon as you walked in the front door. The aroma of her world famous meatballs -– Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino raved about them each spring when she served them at Opening Day of the West Roxbury Little League – filled the shop.
She made the trip Saturday mornings from her home in Boston to the shop in East Lyme, and then she would cook all day, playing the role of little Italian grandmother to every customer. The kids got their cheeks pinched and, if they were lucky, a sample of the meatballs.
People reserved the meatballs in advance. Imagine -- a waiting list for meatballs. Mama Rosa also made chicken parmigiana and eggplant meatballs, and sold the sauce that took her all day to make by the quart. The secret ingredient to her sauce, she once told me, was baking soda. "It takes the acids out," she whispered in my ear.
Here is a story The Day on Mama Rosa: http://www.theday.com/article/20100310/ENT04/303109974/0/Search
So, we will miss you, Mama Rosa. Our loss is heaven's gain.