- What time-saving tips do you have for preparing nutritious meals for your family?
- A big pot of Sunday sauce and two pounds of meatballs go a long way! I grew up eating pasta (at least) twice a week and it’s a tradition I continue, especially in the colder months. Another time-saving strategy is to meal prep on Sundays and load up my deep freezer. I grew accustomed to cooking for a family of five before the kids went off to college, and I have not down-sized my recipes.
- Tip: I still cook for five, but will freeze left-over portions for future meals. Plus, when the kids come home – there’s always something homemade, ready to thaw and enjoy!
- We know that you were raised with Italian grandmothers who taught you how to prepare home-cooked meals. What are some ways that you modernize their traditional dishes- even make them a bit lighter?
- This is a good question! It’s not often that I drift too far from the dishes that I grew up eating.
- Tip: When I’m craving Gram’s lasagna – but need it fast – I’ll use no-boil oven ready lasagna noodles. I love adding roasted vegetables to just about any pasta and we definitely don’t eat as much Italian bread as we used to!
- We see from your bio that you love to travel! How have your trips influenced the way you cook? Do you have any pasta recipes that reflect your travels?
- We do love to travel and are blessed to have visited some gorgeous places, including Italy and Boston’s North End. These are two destinations that have inspired many dishes. The first that comes to mind is homemade gnocchi. My husband and I took a cooking class from a masterful chef in Roma and I couldn’t wait to get home and get playing! Pappardelle with Lemony Swiss Chard Pesto with Pecorino & Pine Nuts is a pasta dish inspired by the many pasta dishes we’ve enjoyed in Boston’s North End.
- In some of your recipes, you highlight pasta and how easy it is to prepare a flavorful dish without spending hours in the kitchen. What inspires you to make simple yet delicious dishes like Spaghetti Italiano with Garlic, Chili, Oregano & Parmesan or Fusilli Cacio E Pepe?
- I subscribe to the notion that the greatest dishes are the simplest ones. If I can prepare, share and enjoy foods that comfort… foods that resurrect sweet memories, that possess beautiful aromas and haunting flavors, I am all for it.
- Finally, can you share one of your favorite pasta dishes with us that is quick and simple to prepare?
- One of my favorite dishes and one of my blog’s most popular recipes is Farmers’ Market Pasta with Basil Pesto and Pine Nuts. It includes curly pasta, favorite farmers’ market finds, and bright-tasting pesto!
I’m Annie, the creator of Ciao Chow Bambina. Many of my fondest memories include the gorgeous gifts of food and laughter that were created in the kitchens and around the tables of my Italian grandmothers. I share mostly Italian recipes inspired by family and our travels to beautiful places with exciting culinary scenes. My recipes are simple, delicious and good for the soul!