My first love in the kitchen was Italian. I’m speaking about my maternal grandmother, Katherine Pizzarello. But I’m also thinking about the dishes of my childhood. Sumptuous lasagna stuffed with tiny meatballs, bitter radicchio and fennel salad, and chewy pine nut macaroons. These dishes taught me to love food and shaped my earliest culinary sensibilities. Thank you Nana.
I’ve lived in Italy, traveled extensively in the land of my maternal relatives, and still cook Italian food regularly. In fact, I was on my own last night and improvised a pasta dish with butternut squash, prosciutto, and a shower of Parmigiano. Not bad for a quick meal based on what was in the fridge!