Hi! Or should I say, Ciao! I'm Maria.
I hope you are enjoying my little addition to the culinary world of Italian food, and that you find my recipes about Italian cooking informative, fun, but most of all - tasty!
Being that my parents are both Italian immigrants, the only food they ever prepared and ate were foods that they grew up with. As I recently had my first child, I have learned a lot about pregnancy - and one thing I've learned is that baby begins to develop tastes for certain cuisines in the womb. Which means I was sampling manicotti before I had even learned to chew! I find that simply fascinating.
So it's no wonder that I love Italian food.
These are the foods that I grew up with. These are the recipes that I watched my mother make over and over, day after day, party upon party, and one holiday after the other. In a way, I learned by watching and absorbing. But I was always also beside her in that kitchen - my skin sometimes scalded by bursts of oil from frying eggplant slices, my clothes completely infused by the aroma of roasted lamb in the oven, and my mouth constantly watering over the prospect of another delicious meal in the near future.
When my parents divorced I was only 11. My mother started working outside the home, and I found myself sort of "in charge" of my three younger sisters. I began preparing dinner so that it would be ready by the time my mom arrived home from work. And I wasn't making Kraft Cheese and Macaroni. I was using what I'd learned in my mom's kitchen to make chicken cutlets and spaghetti with mushroom sauce and a whole host of things I didn't even realize I knew how to cook!
Over the years I have tried out many different recipes from books and magazines and the tv. I've also taken those that I've grown up with and changed them a little, and made them my own. I've used what I know and expanded it to become a little chef in my own right.
In fact, I've been there over a dozen times over the course of my life. There is nothing quite like eating authentic Italian cuisine in the country where it was born. BUT, I am lucky enough to have that same cuisine right under my nose, right in my kitchen and right here in the US.
This is my story... now let's get cooking! Andiamo!