Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Simple Italian cooking.

I've been getting a few requests from friends to start posting recipes or cooking tips. Now, let me preface this by saying I'm not in any way a professional chef. I don't even really have my "own" recipes because most meals that I cook are variations of recipes I find either on cooking shows, online or even from friends & family. While I don't consider myself innovative and super creative in the kitchen, I can tell you that I have passion. I love to cook at home and if one other person likes my cooking, then I'm a happy girl.

I finally got to put my Italian cooking skills to the test when my boyfriend came to visit me. He actually said my dishes were as good as his mother's. Now, if you've ever dated an Italian man, you know that's a compliment! Or come to think of it, maybe he was just being polite...hmmm. Either way, I was pleased! I used to be the girl who bought whole wheat or multigrain pasta as an attempt to be "healthy" and ready-made pasta sauce in a jar right off the shelf.  Then I started buying Italian brands of pasta and whoa....the difference was huge. After watching numerous Italian cooking shows, youtube videos and reading some amazing recipe blogs, I learned how simple it is to prepare a delicious pasta sauce from scratch! Pasta from scratch? Not yet, but I'll be sure to blog my first attempt at it.... =)


some of my homemade Italian dishes

In my opinion, Italians really seem to have the right formula for cooking. Simple & fresh ingredients with a lotta love. I think the trick is not to over-complicate, then cooking doesn't seem as intimidating or frustrating! Here are a few interesting differences I learned about "Italian American" foods vs "Italian" foods. And please correct me if I was misinformed, perhaps some of these can be based on the region? We'll see...


Italians do not serve spaghetti with meatballs. It's usually one or the other. So if you put both together, you'll get a look of disgust from your Italian boyfriend. 


Italians do not put chicken in their pasta or on their pizza. But I will admit, I still like slices of juicy chicken breast in my fettuccine cream sauce.


We commonly say "mozzarella cheese" in North America. However, in Italy they have cheese (formaggio) and they have mozzarella. Mozzarella has its own category, because it's a "fresh" cheese that hasn't been aged.


In Italy, pasta is more common as a meal at lunch, rather than a main course at dinner where it's usually served as a "primi", the first course.


Anyone heard of any others? I just thought these were interesting. While I am going to be living in Italy soon, diving right into their traditional foods & culture,  I don't expect I will lose all my "American" taste buds. I will probably cook myself a nice hot plate of eggs and bacon for breakfast every so often, or throw some chicken in my pasta...but what I won't ever do is lose my passion for food!

xoT

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