If there is one person in the United States who understands how much Americans love Nutella, it is Allison Robicelli, who along with her husband, Matt, owns the New York bakery Robicelli’s.
Allison Robicelli created Nutelasagna, the Nutella dessert heard ’round the world. It was a dish they made as a joke last summer and brought back for the holidays, when the craziness ensued. Lines formed at 8 a.m. Pans and slices sold out quickly. Stories appeared in New York, Great Britain, the Balkans, even Italy — the home of the company that makes the beloved chocolate hazelnut spread. The Ferrero company president traveled to Brooklyn to meet the Robicellis. (The owner of the Ferrero company, Michele Ferrero, died last week on Valentine’s Day.)
The chocolate-hazelnut spread was a popular snack food in Europe and elsewhere before being exported to the United States 25 years ago. Our love affair with this sweet treat has only grown. Case in point: Jif introduced its own version three years ago.
The inspiration for Nutelasagna was Allison Robicelli’s frustration with the media declaring every dessert as “the new cupcake.” So she and her staff decided to promote other desserts as the “new cupcake,” including noodle kugel, which inspired Nutelasagna. Her version combines layers of fresh lasagna noodles, cannoli cream, toasted hazelnuts, Nutella ganache and homemade marshmallows.