Photo Nov 15, 12 15 50 PM.jpg


being at least 50% Italian entitles you to a purism/superiority about how to make food.

like: you don't put oil in pasta water. If your cacio e pepe needs cream, it should go in the garbage. I will throw a bitch out the window if you call a sauce with turkey a "bolognese."

but as an Italian-American in California, it's my destiny to go rogue cowboy on the conventions of my elders, in part to piss them off but mostly to make my life easier. I use pre-shredded tuscan kale from a bag. I have the deli grate my pecorino for me. So while i'm aware it's "not right" to commit the sin of plopping a chicken breast on top of pasta, unfortunately this is not Italy, and sometimes the best defense against self-loathing is the inauthentic use of a protein source.

that said, I also make tacos. and chili. and periodically French food. whatever. I'll usually jam an italian herb or two in there so it isn't too off brand, but no promises.

so no, not exactly Italian, but Italian enough for day to day life, yours and mine, attitude problem or not, and that's why we're here.



simple-ish prep: for the most part, everything can be made easily on a weeknight, in the least viable number of pans, with minimum equipment (except for a food processor) and often entirely from pantry staples. 

seasonalish ingredients: I mostly eat what the weather dictates, because that's what Sprouts sells and I can walk there. so, you'll see lots of light n fresh flavors (cherry tomatoes! grassy herbs! citrus-grilled stuff and stretchy mozzarella!) in the LA summer, and bigger beefier ones (black kale! bison filets! roasted portabellos and nutmeggy cream sauce!) in the 60-degree winter. but then you'll also see an avocado in january. 

savoryish flavors: you'll notice I don't use sugar. ever. as a result I don't really know how to bake, have no desserts and very few breakfast items.

properish technique: if you want someone to tell you that it's perfectly ok that you use butter in your carbonara, this is not the blog for you.

naturalish presentation: you'll notice there's only 1, max 2 photos of each dish with no artfully disheveled linens or cutely-presented spare ingredients off to the side. that's because what you see is what i am about to eat at the end of what was probably a long and miserable day. i plop it down on the table, flip on a special light, and shoot a pic just for you on my iPhone.

familialish origins: italian food isn't really similar across its own country, let alone mine, but family and the related guilt are universal (I assume you've seen The Sopranos). so, a lot of recipes here are either generational classics, inherited cookbook finds from dead relatives, long-lost restaurant adaptations from my time in hospitality, or drunk inventions of my beloved friends, toned and perfected over time into real adult meals.