Cookbook author has Virginia roots

Lee Casazza has been perfecting recipes for over 50 years.

It all began in her mother’s kitchen preparing favorite Southern-style meals, she said. Casazza’s family has a long line of family members from parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. Her parents, Izetta and Charles Irving Croson, grew up and married in Loudoun County. Family traditions of barn dances, country music and Southern food were a special part of her life.

In 1967, she married Robert Casazza. His Italian-American family lived in many parts of Virginia. Large Sunday dinners were a favorite at his grandparent’s home in Richmond. Lee Casazza learned the family’s cooking secrets from Robert’s mother Marie Casazza, his grandmother Elizabeth Noviello, and his great-grandmother Teresa Lapetina—affectionately known as “Big Mamma.” Her knowledge of Italian cooking expanded as she developed many new recipes over the years…..