Welcome to Mirella Cooks; my family is from Altilia, Cosenza in the southern region of Calabria in Italy; a small village called Maione. I was born in Canada however my family kept many of the traditions from Italy and food has always been an important part of my family’s daily life.
Some of the recipes you will find in this book are: Porpette di Pane, Homemade Bread and pasta, desserts like Turdilli, Persica Cookies and more than 100 other recipes that are authentic to the Italian Culture.
You will also find a short lesson in Italian, some of the more common foods that you will find at most Italian meals as well as cooking abbreviations and measurement conversions. When trying the recipes in this book keep in mind that not only is Italian cooking regional but each village may have its own recipe or even pronunciation of the recipes in this book.
I became interested in preparing Italian food when as an adult I went in search of authentic Italian restaurants and realized that there were very few, most Italian restaurants are what I consider inspired by Italian; I have recently heard that even the restaurants in Italy are moving away from authenticity because they want to appeal to tourists. This lead me to research for recipes on the internet and I soon came to the realisation that although there were authentic Italian recipes on the internet that were similar there was no one place that a person could go to get the kind of recipes I enjoy preparing and sharing with family and friends; and so was Mirella Cooks born.
Italian cooking isn’t complicated as most recipes only contain few ingredients, the simpler the better when it comes to Italian cooking. Italians from the region where my family is from rely on good quality fresh ingredients rather than extravagant recipes; some would call it rustic cooking. If you travel through the various regions of Italy you will find that not one region has the same way of presenting or cooking food in fact most villages have their own versions of recipes, very much like the hundreds of dialects spoken in Italy.
Although there are some recipes in this book that may seem difficult they are very simple; the ingredients are readily available at your local grocery store or Italian import store.
Don’t be intimidated to try them; what’s the worst that can happen; you may actually create something that you will enjoy; I encourage you to experiment and make them your own. If you find you are not happy with the outcome try them again. That is how I learned to create most of the recipes in this book.
Keeping in mind that not all of the ingredients in this book originate in Italy they certainly were prominent in the home I grew up in. I hope you have fun and enjoy experimenting. I look forward to hearing about your experiences in exploring the recipes in this book; buon appetito.