My wish with this offering is to introduce typical Italian family cooking and its natural appeal to children and their families, and acquaint my guests with the healthy eating habits and real food served three times a day in Italian households. Sitting around the table, chatting and laughing in a relaxed, English-speaking environment is a way to delve and participate in a precious moment of Italian daily life. Welcome to my home!
My apartment is cosy and filled with toys, memorabilia and photographs - and it revolves around an open kitchen dining area. I'll be serving my guests of all ages a few appetizers, to get our appetite going, and sharing a few tips on how to make vegetables and other healthy foods interesting for the little ones. The main course will be, according to season, a local recipe using ingredients sourced at the nearby open-air produce market, and may feature either a complete pasta dish, or a meat or fish entree. The Italian diet always includes vegetable side dishes of some sort. We end our meal with gelato or homemade dessert. Or both!
Grown ups can enjoy a glass of wine with their meal if they like, but I will not have sodas, juice or milk at the table for the kids: when in Rome, do as the Romans do and drink water! It is a healthier choice and a better pairing with the local, fresh and wholesome food I'll be serving. We can have bottled and sparkling, or tap water (safe to drink).
I'll be using tried and tested family recipes inherited from my Italian Nonna and mother, which have proved successful with all ages. My meals can also easily accommodate vegetarian eaters.