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If you like Italian Food this is the site for you!

Anna Maria’s Open Kitchen

Classic Traditional Italian Recipes Illustrated Step-by-Step


A unique site about Italian Cooking - Step-by-step illustrated Italian food recipes for Tiramisu, and classic Italian recipes for pasta, lasagna, gnocchi, risotto, pizza, polenta, and articles on history of Italian food.

What is Italian Cooking?

About Italian Food


Many non-Italians identify Italian cooking with a few of its most popular dishes, like pizza and spaghetti. People often express the opinion that Italian cooking is all pretty much alike. However, those who travel through Italy notice differences in eating habits between cities, even those only a few miles apart. Not only does each region have its own style of Italian Food , but each community and each valley has a different way of Italian cooking as well.

Perhaps no other country in the world has a cooking style so finely fragmented into different divisions. So why is Risotto typical of Milan, why did Tortellini originate in Bologna, and why is Pizza so popular in Naples? This is so for the same reason that Italy has only one unifying Italian language, yet hundreds of different spoken dialects. Italy is a country of great variety, and Italian cooking is just another aspect of the diversity of Italian culture. This diversity in Italian food stems largely from peasant heritage and geographical differences. Italy is a peninsula separated from the rest of the continent by the highest chain of mountains in Europe. In addition, a long spine of mountains runs north to south down through this narrow country.

Every town has a distinctive way of making sausage, special kinds of cheese and wine, and a local type of bread. If you ask people, even in the same area, how to make pasta sauce, they will all have different answers. Variations in the omnipresent pasta are another example of the multiplicity of Italian recipes: soft egg noodles in the north, hard-boiled spaghetti in the south, with every conceivable variation in size and shape.

These geographic features create a myriad of environments with noticeable variations: fertile valleys, mountains covered with forests, cool foothills, rocky landscapes, Mediterranean coastlines, and arid plains. A great variety of different climates have also created innumerable unique geographical and historical areas.

But geographical fragmentation alone will not explain how the same country produced all of these: the rich, fat, baroque food of Bologna, based on butter, parmigiano, and meat; the light, tasty, spicy cooking of Naples, mainly based on olive oil, mozzarella, and seafood; the cuisine of Rome, rich in produce from the surrounding countryside; and the food of Sicily, full of North African influences.

The explanation is hidden in the past; the multitudes of food styles of Italy mainly result from its history. Divided for a long time into many duchies, princedoms, kingdoms, and states—often hostile to one another—political unification in Italy did not occur until 1861. Many populations in the past three thousand years have occupied Italian territory, and most of them contributed their own traditions.

What is Italian Cooking - About Italian Food - Read here the Full Article

Anna Maria Volpi

Copyright © 2004 Anna Maria Volpi - All Rights reserved.

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The Month
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A TRIP TO TREVISO, WHERE TIRAMISU WAS INVENTED Visiting “Le Beccherie” an Interview with Mr. And Mrs. Campeol
Everything you want to know about this celebrated Italian dessert
Tiramisu’ with Mixed Berries
A Tiramisu’ recipe has become a new classic
How and when this worldwide famous Italian dessert was invented   
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Original TIRAMISU of “Le Beccherie” - The first ever recipe for Tiramisu’ published in 1981 in Verona, Italy
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The Tiramisu’ recipe Anna Maria is proposing using safe ingredients
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Ragu’ Bolognese

Contrary to common belief Ragu’ is not a tomato sauce. The original recipe goes back to before the introduction of ....



Beef Pot Roast

is a recipe common in most regions of Northern Italy. “Stracotto” means

overcooked ...

Pappa col Pomodoro

is a dish of the peasant tradition. Has its origin from  a Bread Soup, a very poor dish ....

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Something Sweet
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