My love of Italian food only came to light when I met my high school boyfriend (now husband) whose father was Italian.
Having grown up in your typical stereotype Aussie household, our meals consisted of meat and 3 Veg, and if pasta was on the menu, it was served with more of an Aussie type savoury mince, than a scrumptious ragu. God love my beautiful Mother, she was a great cook but creating flavours was not her strong point.
Marrying into a family with an Italian influence brought with it traditions and cuisines, I happily embraced.
Prosciutto, caprese salad, authentic pizzas and the unbeatable deep flavour of ragu were all introduced to me over a period of time, to which I quickly became accustomed.
My husbands Nonna Franca would create various Italian cuisine for us, but her signature dish - and our favourite - was Ravioli. Always beef ravioli and served with a side of mixed beans, broccoli and zucchini, with a pinch of garlic salt and a splash of authentic balsamic vinegar.
Something so simple tasted so delicious. Bursts of flavours with every mouthful.
Sadly Nonna Franca is now residing in "Little Italy" up above, but she didn't depart without leaving us something significant. Her Bible. Cucina Triestina.
Born in Muggia - Trieste - Northern Italy and migrating to Australia in 1995, Cucina Triestina travelled abroad by ship. This little piece of Italy resided in the family for decades to come and was used constantly as the soul of delicious family feasts that memories were made from. (and food comas)
As much as I would love to cook some of these - and I will, I am so fortunate that my very talented daughter - and even more talented Poppy John (my father-in-law), have carried on the tradition of Nonna Franca.
I am sorry I have not translated these recipes, but I guess that is half the fun.
Let me know if you make them and send through photos, I would love to see.