It would be impossible for me to do a food blog without talking about Italy.
Italy is by far and away my favourite country. Not just because of it's beautiful architecture and it's wonderful scenery but because of the attitudes towards food and the way food and eating is so integrated into their culture and the Italian way of life.
It seems to me that unlike us Brits, there is still a strong emphasis on eating together as a family and mammas and nonnas still pass down their culinary skills from generation to generation.
Admittedly, this is changing as more women work and spend less time preparing meals but to give you an idea of the difference between the UK and Italy; they think it's "cheating" to buy pre-prepared fresh pasta, we would think that we had cooked properly if we rustled up a sauce and put it through a bag of "fresh" tagliatelle; when we're in a rush, we buy a sarnie from M+S or Boots, food on the go will be a lovely slice of freshly made pizza to the average Italian.
So you've probably guessed that my favourite type of food is Italian. But not the Italian that is generally prepared in the UK. I cannot STAND things like Dominos or Pizza Hut... the wet, soggy, sugary shite that they sell is as far from Italian pizza as you can possibly get. I have little time for "Italian" chain restaurants who used powdered sauces and pre-made frozen meals.
I also loathe pre-made sauces in jars. Why? Because whipping up a simple sauce for pasta is so easy and quick, that I fail to see the point in buying a jar which will not taste as good and probably be more expensive. Even by me listing the following without any instructions you could probably do it: Olive oil, garlic, tinned tomatoes, basil, salt + pepper. It will take you about 15 minutes in a pan, less time than nipping out for a jar of sauce!
So the next few recipes will be Italian (although I'm sure any Italian readers will have extremely varied opinions on whether they're anything like they had at home, but it's my take on Italian food)... Some of it takes a little practice but once you've got the knack of it, it's extremely rewarding and you'll be making it as part of your repertoire in no time!