Whenever I am enjoying dinner at a restaurant somewhere, I often wonder how the chef decided to cook for a living. Chefs are a strange breed, they like to gossip about one another, they talk about hype and trends, travel often whether to a different neighborhood, or a different city, just so they can replicate a recipe.
Me, I like to cook not so my peers can talk highly of me, but merely because this is the highest form of showing your family and friends that you truly love them. It is that same love and nurturing I learned many years ago from my maternal grandma. Nonna Immacolata was truly a great teacher. She did not have a fancy cooking school diploma on her wall, nor great reviews by foodies in the daily papers. No, her credentials were from learning simple, yet good cooking lessons from her own Calabrese grandma. Tradition that has been carried on today, in my own habits and Sunday meals. Her pride was more important and gratifying to her than any of these things could ever allow for: her family’s love and the reason to bond around her table, every Sunday at noon. So, since the apple never falls to far away from the tree, here I am a self-taught chef, with an obsession to discover new recipes dishes and spices combinations to be shared, raved and often copied by family, friends and other chefs alike. My pasta-making skills have slowly but surely perfected over the past 50 years to resemble those of my Nonna. So much so, that this is my first attempt to document and compile enough recipes for my first cooing book. Salute! And as my Nonna would say:
“A pancia piena si consulta meglio. With a full belly you think better.“