In this section, we write about how Italians traditionally approach food and cooking and how they typically use ingredients, which often differs considerably from how Italian cuisine has been adapted in other countries to better suit local tastes.
And when we’re not sure about something we have at hand Elena’s 87 year-old mother, Lisa, who has practiced la cucina casalinga for almost three-quarters of a century. Her mother died when Lisa was only five years old and during the war she would get up early every day in the Casentino to help her grandmother make the day's bread. At twelve she went to live with relatives in Rome and not long afterwards was cooking on a daily basis.
In the 1960s when she met Elena's father, originally a Marchigiano from Ascoli Piceno, Lisa learned from her mother-in-law to cook and to love the regional food of le Marche and she still likes to make the famous Olive all'ascolana whenever she has time. Lisa still cooks every day and it's difficult to persuade her otherwise. So we have some good old-fashioned expertise at our disposal whenever we need to check on the traditional way of putting a dish together.
This section is all about Italian food and cooking in Italy, as practiced by Italians. So before you start messing around with a genuine Italian recipe it's always a good idea to go back to basics and understand why it survived in its original form in Italy for generations.
We don’t plan to post very many recipes but where we come across something interesting and authentic or where there is a certain way of making a dish that transforms the final result or where we are aware of some common misconceptions about a dish, we will publish something. In fact on this last point, if you were to do a quick internet search for the classic Roman dish Cacio e pepe you would find all sorts of ingredients that no Roman would ever countenance like grana padano, parmigiano and even butter and none of these sites even mention the simple technique required to incorporate the pecorino romano so it becomes an evenly distributed emulsion on each strand of pasta.