I have always enjoyed cooking… Many happy memories from my childhood are “food related”. I remember spending hours in the kitchen, helping my parents cook for big occasions like Christmas or Sunday lunch when we had guests over! It wasn’t only about cooking, it was a way of spending time together, doing things together and then enjoying the food with family and friends. In a way, to me cooking means “family” and the kitchen has always been my favourite room of the house. That’s where I would do my homework while my mom was preparing dinner, that’s where we would eat together as a family and chat about our day.
I have travelled quite a bit and I have always been amazed by the way Italian food is prepared abroad. 90% of the times, it is not like the real thing. Very often it is not even close in either taste, texture or ingredients. A good example of this is the hugely famous “Fettuccine Alfredo”… if you go to eat out in Italy and ask for this dish, you will only receive a puzzled look… it does not exist! There are so many misconceptions about Italian cooking that have often resulted in poor tasting food… for example, when you go to an Italian restaurant you tend to get “a lot” of garlic in almost every dish you order. We do use garlic in our cooking (and raw too at times!), but not in every dish and not in industrial quantities!
Whenever you can, use original Italian ingredients when cooking an Italian dish… it does make a huge difference… “parmesan cheese” does not taste like either Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano and should never be used instead of them. Also, be sure to cook your pasta “al dente“… just follow the cooking time printed on the pasta bag and the instructions in the Techniques page of this site and you can’t go wrong!
One of the main goals of this blog is to actually clear up some of these misrepresentations and to help you (not chefs!) prepare authentic Italian dishes in your own home… and it would be even better if you could all participate together as a family!
When I cook for my family I usually prepare food that my mother used to make for me, but recently I have begun to experiment with new recipes… and not only Italian ones. Given my husband’s Indian origin, I have discovered a completely different world outside of Italian cooking. Indian cuisine is so different from its Italian counterpart. I discovered dishes, ingredients and spices (oh the world of spices!!!) that I had never even heard of before! And I just love it! So… besides Italian recipes, here you will also find non-Italian ones and even my own creations to prepare for yourself and your family.
Here is a brief site “map”:
- “Home” page – where you find all my latest recipes, just like in a blog.
- “About” page – where you can read a short bio of mine and find out what this site is all about.
- “Recipes” page – where I have organised all my recipes by category and in chronological order, to make navigation easier.
- “Tips” page – where you can find some basic techniques of Italian cooking like how to make your own pasta or pizza from scratch, or how to cook your pasta “al dente” etc., descriptions and advice on the ingredients that I use, conversion tables, cake decoration suggestions, and gifts ideas.
- “Out & About” page – where you can see pictures and read about all the great (and sometimes exotic) food that I experience when travelling around the world.
- “Subscribe” page – where you can subscribe to this site so that you can always be up to date with my latest recipes.
- “Contact” page – from where you can contact me directly.
So… enjoy and… buon appetito!
Manu it’s so right when food travels outside the country of it’s origin it changes not only in looks but flavours too & yes no wonder when U find the dishes which actually never existed in your country and they are labeled with the name of that country…..my brother in law lived & travelled a lot in Italy & when he visits us he always asks don’t U get regular/normal pizza(not laden with cheese & cheese) in USA :-)) Feeling happy to discover your blog.
I just wanted to pop in a comment letting you know that you’ve got a really wonderful blog! 🙂 I love the techniques page by the way, I think it’s such a wonderful idea to have a page like that! 😀
All the best.
I just found your ‘bella’ blog and am loving what I’m reading! I’ve clicked on the follow link and I hope that you can stop by and choose to follow my Italian foodie and culture blog too. It would be great to learn from and chat with each other about Italian culture and cuisine!
Ciao, Roz from ‘la bella vita’
Ciao Roz! Heading over to your site right now!!! Thank you so much for your lovely comment! So glad to meet you! 🙂
Manuela, the blog is inspiring but – above and beyond this – the desire to help English-speakers understand authentic Italian food is amazing. Thank you for doing this. I understand the sentiment because I’m trying to do the same for Brazilian food 🙂