Classic Italian Cooking

Posted on 29/12/2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For many years I was sceptical about Italian cooking. I didn’t think it was particularly good; certainly not as good as French cuisine. Too much oil and garlic. And pasta and pizza reflected their peasant origins: filling but far from elegant!

Then I married an Italian and met  “Nonna”. And tasted her lasagne! I had eaten lasagne many times before; I’d even made it myself and been praised for my efforts by my guests. I’d eaten it in restaurants here in Australia and in Italy. But it was never in the same class as Nonna’s lasagne.

In fact the same thing applied to her gnocchi, to her spaghetti, her meat balls, her veal cutlets, her salads, in fact to everything she cooked.

What was it that set her cooking apart from the food I had eaten in Italian restaurants and trattorias? This essential difference was what defined the classic in her cooking.

First, it is home cooking. Cooking done by a Nonna for her family. Cooking whose most important ingredient is love. Not a sloppy, romantic thing but a robust love of a mother for her children. A love that gives of its time generously, that thinks nothing of spending a whole morning making the sheets of pasta for the lasagne.

Second (and closely related to the first) the ingredients are fresh and of good quality. Preferably from Nonna’s garden or from the garden of a friend.

Third, the recipe has been passed down orally over generations.

There are other characteristics which define classical Italian cooking, but that will do for now.

Over the coming weeks (months? years?) I’ll pass on some of the recipes that I’ve seen Nonna implement without ever seeing her consult a recipe book. Use them to get started but abandon them as soon as you can. Don’t let them come between you and your love affair with your ingredients and the cooking process. Don’t let the written word come between you and inspiration.


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

One Response to “Classic Italian Cooking”

RSS Feed for Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Comments RSS Feed

Go Garry, Look forward to some handed down thru the generation recipies to try out.

Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: