Benvenuto to Simple Italian Cooking! Here’s the page where I get a bit personal and share a bit of history about myself and this site.
First, I have to give a legal disclaimer about links on my site that might point you to another company of whom I am an affiliate. For example, I am an affiliate of Amazon and I must state the following:
SimpleItaliancooking.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.Amazon.com.
Now, onto the good stuff..
I decided to create this website about simple Italian cooking for a few reasons, mainly to help others learn how to cook amazing Italian dishes stress free. I also want to share information about different kitchen gadgets and appliances that also make cooking fun and stress free.
My passion for helping others and sharing this information is because I don’t want anyone struggling like I did just to try and make a good meal. It should be easy and enjoyable… not something to get totally stressed about!
I had no desire to learn 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!
Needless to say, as time went on my enthusiasm for cooking never developed, but I did always have a desire to know about Italian cooking. 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.
My trip to Italy that I’ll never forget!
After college, I saved up 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. I hated to cook at the time (looking back, the reason was because I didn’t know how). 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 Italian husband. 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??
Finally, it hit me. I picked up the phone and called his mother who is Sicilian. 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!
Through her and other family members, 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.
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.
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.
So, I use this website to share the recipes I have gathered over the years, whether from family, friends, or my own creations.
Excellent Italian cooking still makes me happy. I don’t buy fancy hard to find ingredients, I don’t really care about that stuff.
This site is devoted to everyone who can relate
This site is devoted to everyone out there that feels like me. I just want simple Italian recipes that are easy and taste great. That’s my motivation, you. 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.
Maybe you’re like me or maybe you’ve just happened to come across this site searching for some recipe for dinner. But there are ways to keep up with my recipes and writings if you’d like. You can sign up for my newsletter which I try to send out periodically, or follow me on Facebook or Pinterest.
Whatever your reason for coming, please stay in touch and feel free to comment, or just print the recipes and use them.
Ciao e grazie,
Full disclosure: You might see some ads or links here and there throughout the site that point to Amazon, that’s because I’m an affiliate for them. 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!