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“The passion of the Italian or the Italian-American population is endless for food and lore and everything about it.” -Mario Batali

Welcome to my Italian-American kitchen!

Inspiration My Nonna (grandmother) came to the U.S. over 50 years ago to work as a cook in the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. What was meant to be a short time of work before returning to Italy for her and my Nonno, soon turned into two kids and a move across country. Relatives urged my Nonna to start her own restaurant, but she preferred pouring her heart into food for her growing family. As a little girl, I loved spending time in the kitchen watching her roll and stuff pasta, helping where I could. I would sneak beans out of salads and cheese from the block when I thought she wasn’t looking. I owe my love of food and cooking to her and to my mother, both of whom have taught me the importance of cooking with love and savoring each meal with family.

Cooking My family originates from the northern region of Emilia Romagna–arguably the richest gastronomic region in all of Italy. Many of the recipes you find on Tomatoes and Basil can be traced back to their Emilia-Romagna roots. I do, however, include some dishes that are not instinctively Italian but are more American in nature. The recipes I share are from a variety of different sources–old family recipes, recipes I make up or alter, recipes pulled from cookbooks, magazines, and newspapers. I note the source of the recipe whenever possible.

Tomatoes and Basil Tomatoes and basil are ingredients at the very core of Italian cooking. Because of this, many of the dishes I cook have tomatoes and/or basil as an ingredient. In my cooking, I’m ultimately trying to get at the heart of Italian cuisine–creating a memorable meal and experience for my family and my guests.

Comments Comments are welcome and appreciated on the recipes and posts. If you’ve tried a recipe, whether with success or failure, enjoyment or dislike, please let me know. Constructive feedback is a good thing for any cook.

Photography All photographs on Tomatoes and Basil have been taken by myself or Will, unless otherwise noted. All photos are copyright. Please contact me for permission if you wish to use one.

About Liana I am a self-taught  home cook (with the help of my Nonna and mother), who loves getting friends and family around the table for a delicious Italian-style meal. My husband, Will, is my sous chef, primary recipe taste-tester, occasional photographer, and master dishwasher. For questions or comments that you don’t wish to leave on the comment board, please contact me at lianacooks {at} yahoo {dot} com.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie Mathew permalink
    October 31, 2009 11:45 pm

    Hey Liana, How do I subscribe to your blog?

  2. Liana permalink*
    November 2, 2009 9:01 am

    Hi Julie,

    I added a subscribe button on the bottom right-hand sidebar. You should be able to subscribe from there, but let me know if you have any problems!


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