About

This site is for those who love to cook and want Italian-inspired ideas for daily meals.  My inspiration is drawn from a variety of sources.  I was raised by a Southern Italian mother who kept her childhood traditions alive in our home through the cooking of our daily meals.  Tomatoes and vegetables were prominent ingredients in my mother’s cooking and she always had a decidedly light and delicate way of preparing her native dishes.

In the 1990’s, I worked for a year as apprentice to Mario Batali at Po restaurant in Greenwich Village (when Mario swore he’d never have another Po).  Mario’s cooking was an innovative take on all manner of regional Italian cooking and was bold, fresh and exciting.  Through him, I learned a variety of techniques and innovations that have remained in my cooking ever since.

In recent years, I’ve been lucky enough to have an equally compelling influence on my cooking.  He is my eighty-nine year-old neighbor, Giuseppe Girardi (known as ‘Beppi’ to his friends).  Beppi was the founder of “San Marco” restaurant, located in Rockefeller Center, circa 1960’s through 1990.  San Marco earned three-stars from Craig Claiborne of the New York Times and was a forerunner of the more elegant, refined Italian restaurants that have come since (many of which are now owned by chefs like Mario Batali).

Beppi is a native of Verona, Italy and his restaurant was a marked departure from the inexpensive red-and-white checkered-tablecloth Italian-American cooking of the 1950’s and ‘60’s.  His cooking has added another unique dimension to my own cooking.  It’s old-world Northern Italian cooking that is refined, elegant, and steeped in tradition.  He’s a vital and witty instructor and master in the kitchen.

My goal in posting this blog is to help provide ideas to cooks who love to prepare Italian-inspired dishes for their day-to-day meals.  I won’t purport to be a ‘30-minute meal’ cook, although many of my meals might easily be prepared in thirty minutes.  I won’t contend that you can make any of my meals with $25 or less, or ‘using only what’s local and seasonal (although I try to adhere to what’s local as much as humanly possible in the 21st century).  In short, I won’t purport to adhere to any format other than cooking the things that I’m most inspired to cook and eat every day.

I live in Eastern Long Island, admittedly an area where there happens to be great local produce (seven months a year), dairy , eggs, and seafood, so I use these local products when they’re available simply because they taste better, not because they bear the stamp ‘organic’.

I shop for food every day because I prefer to plan my meals daily and think about them one at a time.  But everything I make can be made from supermarket ingredients found virtually anywhere.

I will try to make each recipe as precise as possible, but I assume a basic understanding of cooking terminology and a feel for cooking in general.  Salt and pepper are very personal , so most of the recipes will leave that commodity ‘to taste.’

Hope you appreciate the simple and straightforward approach.

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14 Responses to About

  1. This is a great site! I will be using this regularly and look forward to cooking every recipe!

  2. Shelley rashotsky says:

    Great site

  3. Peg says:

    Looks like we will be eating better in the future with a new site like Italian -ate, WOW ,love it!!!

  4. James Trezza M.D. says:

    Love your bolg

  5. julie von blomberg says:

    YOU are the BEST……….I can’t wait to spend time with you everyday! Keep up the GREAT blog!!!!!!!!

  6. I love this blog !!!! grazie per condividere le ricette ❤

  7. Chuck Gallopo says:

    I have 24 italian cookbooks, but never, never have seen anything like this blog. You are the closest to Italy’s fine cooking that I have experienced outside of that country. Thank you!!

    Chuck Gallopo

  8. So glad I found your website. I recently spent a few weeks in Italy and was looking for some of the same type of food I had there. I’m working on your list one at a time.

  9. Phyllis S. says:

    Good blog. Check out mine: http://www.cookingontheriver.blogspot.com
    But who are you?

    • fjbnyc says:

      thank you for reading. to find out more about me, look at my “about” page, which is practically hidden by the format of the blog. looked at your blog–very nice and informative. so funny you recognized the photo of positano–it was taken from our balcony at le sirenuse.
      best,
      franco

  10. Todd Gallopo says:

    My Dad Chuck and I love this site. Great blog for us italian food lovers who like adventure in the kitchen.
    I have searched your site for a recipe for squid ink linguine. Do you happen to have a tasty one I can experiment with? Bought a nice imported black linguine that I would like to prepare with seafood but nothing comes to mind.

    Best, and keep cooking,
    Todd

    • fjbnyc says:

      todd–thank you so much for reading! i haven’t used squid ink linguini in many years–I’d have to experiment with a recipe, since it has its own very distinctive flavor. I’ll let you know when I come up with something.

      best,
      franco

  11. MaryEllen says:

    So excited to find this blog. The Pasta with Shrimp and Pesto was the best!

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