Perfect Picnic in Venice One of the best meals I ever had in Italy was in Venice and it came from a brown paper bag. As I have said in previous posts, Carlo and I were Architecture students doing a … Continue reading
I would like to share with you and romantic story of mine from Venice, Italy. While in Venice for our school studies (Architecture), my Amore decided that he would take me on a date to have an evening to ourselves … Continue reading
Biscotti,’ those crunchy long Italian cookies that Americans love to dunk into coffee…is the discussion for today. It’s a minor debate, but one worth the time. Shortly after I had met Carlo and found out that he was Italian, I … Continue reading
Filled Pasta Yes, we are going to talk more about pasta. I mean we are discussing Italy here people and pasta is very prevalent. This time though, we will talk about the lovely filled pasta. This journey begins in the … Continue reading
Alright, so now that we have discussed our caffeine intake and our pre dinner snack and drinks it is time to address some main dishes most of which involved pasta. After all you cannot go to Italy and not experience … Continue reading
In the 3 wonderful years that I have been with Carlo, I have had the opportunity to travel to Italy twice. The first of time was for a summer study abroad for Architecture School, in which we visited many different … Continue reading
‘Pumpkin Gnocchi’ or more accurately Butternut Squash Gnocchi is the subject for today. Let me explain why I put pumpkin in quotes, and yes it has something to do with Italian culture. So, when Italians are talking about a sweet … Continue reading
My name is Candice Jordan. I am an all American girl with mostly Swedish and Norwegian decent, plus or minus some English, German and other European mixings.
For three years now I have been an “Italian” in training ever since I met the love of my life, Carlo Mantovani and his very Italian famiglia. Boy was I in for a culinary journey, when most of what I had thought of Italian food came from my preconceived idea that was, Italian-American.
Let me back up just a bit. About 14 years ago now, Carlo and family (Papa Alberto, Mamma Tina, sister Anna, and brother Francesco) packed up from a little town close to Milan called Bernate Ticino , and made the big move to Southern California. With knowing little English and I mean little except “Hi. My name is Carlo and I am from Italy” the family jumped in with both feet. Thankfully for me, they learned English or something like that. Sometimes I think it is a mix of both.
Now let me tell you, I loved to eat and cook Italian food before I met Mr. Italy but for the past three years I have had the challenge of making authentic Italian food for my love. After meeting sweet Mamma Tina (the cook of the house) and wanting to do right by her and the famiglia, I kicked my culinary culo into gear! Boy has it been kicked too.
Carlo is a bit of a foodie and has made my challenge that much more, and me being a bit of a perfectionist have always accepted hoping to live up to his Mamma’s quality or the shall I say, every Italian woman in his home town! Wanting to satisfy my Amore and being the perfectionist I am, I set out to conquer the world of Italian food.
After much ‘taste testing’ Mamma Tina’s Sunday lunch dishes with carefully inspection and interrogating Mamma about her techniques, I finally felt confident enough to try my hand at it. My first attempt was an Italian tomato soup (I will post process images and recipes). Of course I had my authentic Italian judge there to let me know if I nailed it or not. Sitting down at the table with the piping hot velvety red soup with rustic croutons, basil and a drizzle of olive oil floating on it, I hold my breath a bit while Carlo dives his spoon into the tomato pool and has his first taste… Success! He actually liked it!
After that small win, my culinary confidence was boosted. So, I would ask Carlo what other recipes I could test out on him. It didn’t take long before I got recipe requests emailed, text, or skyped to me from Carlo asking if I could try to make some of his childhood favorites.
And so begins my culinary exploration of becoming an honorary Italian!