Welcome to my kitchen
As Julia Child once said, “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing…”
When I was growing up in an Italian-Canadian home, food was the basis of every milestone, every gathering, and the main topic of almost every conversation. I was utterly spoiled to have great women in my life who fed me the most delectably simple dishes and whose flawless manoeuvring around a kitchen inspired me to make my debut as ChefMom. It was my children, however, who later crowned me with that title.
As a young bride and expectant mommy all in the same year, I went into both marriage and motherhood without any real knowledge about using an oven or a stovetop. After I got back from my honeymoon, I was soon faced with the crisis of feeding a husband (whose mother is one of the best cooks I know) and a baby! It was then that I started to pay more attention in the kitchen to some fabulous women who now have become my greatest inspirations.
Two ladies in particular helped me see the light. First, my mother, with her knack for creating healthy, uncomplicated, quick and delicious meals and setting a breathtaking table, all while looking divinely elegant as she cooked and served. She could put together a last-minute dinner for 10 eight people without a single stress or worry. And then there was my ex-mother-in-law, who would spend endless hours in her kitchen, where she is happiest, braising, baking, dehydrating, poaching, grilling…. They are both extraordinary women who ignited my passion for cooking.
Still, the pressure was undeniable as I set out on a mission to feed my family. I absorbed, I researched, I read, I measured, I mixed, I failed. And I failed again. But by the time my first child, Gabriella, was born, I was much more secure in serving my friends and family dishes that I could actually be proud of. Then came my second child. Giuliano was a born foodie whose discerning tastes filled my recipe box with fun food that didn’t require too much prep. By the time Stefano, my third child, was born, I rocked my kitchen.
Today, I am so proud that my children have incredible taste in food and that they lead a healthy lifestyle. The great influences in my daughter Gabriella’s life, just like in mine, have encouraged her to pursue her passion for cooking and her love of entertaining. Giuliano thrives on sharing a great meal with friends. And Stefano, so conscious of keeping his meals wholesome and nutritious, has influenced me to cook a little healthier. If I didn’t know it back then, I certainly know it now: Food unites.
A step by step cookbook... from start to finish
OVER 70 SELECTED RECIPES
Dining at home
The fondest memories are made around a dinner table. Sharing a meal with people who mean the most is one of life's treasures.
Prep time 10 mins Cooking time 15 min Serves 4 to 6
2 cups (500 ml) tomato sauce (see recipe on p.53)
½ cup (60 ml) mascarpone cheese, preferably imported from Italy
2 packages (6 oz/10g) or approximately 2 cups (500 ml) smoked salmon, cut into small squares
1 package (454g) farfalle pasta
¼ cup (60 ml) red salmon roe or black lumpfish caviar for garnish
In a large pot, bring the tomato sauce to a simmer.
Pour the warm tomato sauce into a large serving bowl. Add the mascarpone cheese and whisk until smooth.
Add the salmon
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta, following the instructions on the package. Drain
Transfer the pasta to the bowl and toss.
Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with a spoonful of the roe or caviar. Enjoy!
I sincerely wish you happy meals, and hope that your kitchen may be the heart of your home - Nadia
Chef Danny Smiles
Smells ring bells and trigger memory and emotion.
Chef Antonio Park
Cooking is nothing without passion. Passionate life is cooking with love!
Chef Michele Forgione
The Italian table is a reminder that we connect through food and memories from generations old and new.