PUMPKIN PIE: Peter Affatato, owner and chef of Nona Mia Italian Kitchen, was inspired by his grandmother's pumpkin dishes to make his popular deep-dish, roasted pumpkin pizza. Photo by Nick Moen

Pumpkin pleasers: Asheville food specialties welcome autumn

When Peter Affatato was growing up in Flushing, Queens, his grandmother — his nona — would take him to Long Island farms to buy pumpkins. “She bought them because they were cheap,” says Affatato, owner and chef at Nona Mia Italian Kitchen in West Asheville, “and then she would cook them with everything.” That’s how Affatato came up with Peter’s pumpkin pizza, a pie customers begin calling to ask about as soon as pumpkins start bronzing the fields.