About

Benvenuto to Simple Italian Cooking!

 

This site is all about simple Italian cooking and related topics that will help put the joy into your kitchen!  You will learn how to cook awesome and practical Italian dishes stress-free.

Italian cooking is about love and celebrating life with those you love.  When you sink your teeth into the perfect lasagna or Italian lemon cake that you prepared yourself, and suddenly a huge smile is on your face and you literally feel happy despite how crazy your day has been…. that’s the joy of Italian cooking.

Sound cliche?  It’s not and my story proves it.

More than Recipes

Not only will you enjoy uncomplicated and easy Italian recipes, but you will also receive useful tips, resources, and honest kitchen product reviews.

Everything ties into Italian cooking on this site, whether tips for gardening to grow your own tomatoes, saving money, or how to use a stovetop espresso maker for that perfect morning latte, or my take on the best can opener that doesn’t strain your hands.

What I Learn, I Pass onto You

I send out newsletters (sign up using the form on this page or go here) that are designed to inspire, not intimidate.  I don’t bombard anyone and my newsletters always contain useful information for you, including a recipe every time.  I do as many videos as possible simply to show how easy the recipes are.

I say it all the time… if I can do it, so can you!  I totally believe that!

You can also follow me on Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter.

This Site is Devoted to You

Cooking Italian food should be easy and enjoyable… not something to get totally stressed out about.

I just want simple Italian recipes that are easy and taste great, don’t you?  That’s my motivation, to provide you what would have been helpful for me to know when I was struggling to cook.   easy but awesome meals.  When I hear from a reader that tried a recipe and their family liked it, I get excited to know I actually helped someone.  It inspires me, just as much as I’ve somehow inspired you.

To be honest, I still struggle at times and I’m not embarrassed or too prideful to talk about it.  If I struggle with something (like meal planning!) I’m sure many other people do too.  It’s a true real life journey and I don’t want to go it alone!

When I hear from a reader that tried a recipe and their family liked it, I get excited to know I actually helped someone.  It inspires me, just as much as I’ve somehow inspired you.

 

Can you believe I used to hate to cook?

Growing up in an Italian home as the youngest of five, I somehow never learned how to cook.  Why is this?  Because I was always kicked out of the kitchen!  So sad, but true and the older I get in life, I can’t blame my mom for that, I was probably asking too many questions!

Needless to say, as time went on my enthusiasm for cooking never developed, and when it came time to learn how to cook, I had no confidence and truly hated it.

But, I admit, I always desire to know about Italian cooking because that was the food I enjoyed most.  For my 16th birthday, my request for dinner was to make homemade pasta noodles and have a real Italian meal.

I remember hanging the noodles on string that was strung across the kitchen wall to wall. It’s a visual memory I’ll never forget.  My mom showed me how she made homemade sauce, and it was an excellent meal.  Too bad I have no photos!

However, that was the extent of my involvement.  I went through college eating noodles, pasta, mac and cheese, and chicken fajitas (which I love to make).   I managed to survive fine.  Yet still, I had no desire to learn how to cook.

 

Italian family

My trip to Italy that I’ll never forget!

After college, I saved up some money and took a solo backpacking trip across Europe where I spent 10 days with my Italian relatives in Italy.  The love, the amazing food, the flavors, and the simplicity still engulfs me.  I still remember it all, and every once in awhile I dream in Italian as a result even though I can’t speak much of it.

Unfortunately, I was so naive when it came to cooking I didn’t take notes or pay much attention while there.  Add to that the fact they didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Italian so that kinda made things a little more difficult.

That trip was a very special experience that still feels as if I was there yesterday.  How I wish I could return!

 

Guess it’s time to be a better wife that can cook

Now the years have passed and my cooking skills have developed, but not without lots of frustration.  Things didn’t change until I got married to my husband who is also Italian.  He knew where I stood with cooking and was totally cool with it.  But, I wanted to be a better wife in that regard so I started pouring through cookbooks.  I struggled.  I got frustrated.  I got angry.  I even cried.

Everything took so long, everything seemed so hard.  I didn’t have time.  And I’d spend 2 hours cooking a meal that in the end was terrible.   Why was cooking so difficult and painful??

nina-kitchen

Finally, it hit me.  I picked up the phone and called his Italian mother.  I said I needed easy recipes, ones that she used when she cooked for him.

I knew she could help because every time we visited her, she’d whip up something on the fly and it was amazingly good, and yet was so simple.

 

Italian cooking is simple!

I started learning some basic principles like you don’t need lots of ingredients for a good Italian dish.  You need fresh ingredients, and you need to keep it simple, have good real Italian cheese, and quality extra virgin olive oil.

pizza

These principles are throughout many of my recipes such as the roasted potatoes and rosemary recipe she gave me.  Or, just a simple zucchini and pasta recipe.   I learned how the use of fresh basil gave life to a simple dish of pasta, olive oil, and cheese.

I was on my way and my husband honestly started complimenting my dishes with true enthusiasm.  I was happy.  The food made me happy.  The compliments made me happy and my confidence in cooking started to grow for the first time.

Today, I’m still no expert and I don’t ever intend to be an expert.  I stick to the basics that I know are impressive, and I don’t venture too far off the beaten track.  Even now I still get excited when my husband goes back for seconds and thirds.  By the way, he is super picky!

Excellent Italian cooking still makes me happy.  I don’t buy fancy hard to find ingredients, I don’t really care about that stuff.  I’m just like you, and I hope you’ll find the joy in cooking just as I have!

Ciao e grazie,

Liz

Full disclosure: You might see some ads or links here and there throughout the site that point to Amazon or other online companies for whom I am an affiliate.  However, not all links are affiliate related as I try to provide useful information and resources for you no matter what.  Thanks again for stopping by!  Ciao!

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