I've been a big fan of Lidia Bastianich, an Italian/American TV chef, and her cooking show "Lidia's Table" for such a long time. I think I might've been an Italian in a previous life. I married one (by name only really) so I'm kinda half way there. I love all things Italian and most of all cooking and eating Italian food. Lidia always starts and finishes her show with "tutti a tavola a mangiare" and it has such a lovely ring to it. Not like the ringing in my ears from the screaming and fighting that usually accompanies any meal at my place.
I love the way 'real' Italian cooks prepare 'peasant' food or food that is seasonal, home grown, nothing wasted and simple flavours. It really is a cheap, wholesome, healthy way to eat.
Some books to check out at your local library, that I've found really great, are:
|"The Silver Spoon"|
|"The Food of Italy - A Journey for Food Lovers"|
|"Cooking with Italian Grandmothers"|
There are many more but these are a good start. When you think of the basics to a good Italian meal, most items are found in your pantry. Eggs and flour for pasta, fresh or canned tomatoes plus a few herbs for a basic tomato sauce and some cheese to top and you've got a beautiful meal. Most meat dishes are made with the cheapest cuts of meat. My favourite Italian pasta dish (one of many) is Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, which is basically pasta, olive oil and garlic. Bellissimo!
I wonder if Lidia's kids were a problem for her when they were young?