About Me

hiking in Cinqueterra
Hiking in Monterosso, Cinque Terra

Ciao tutti!

Welcome to An Italian Dish. I am so glad you came for a visit. Welcome to “Ellen’s Test Kitchen!”

I have been a college instructor for 20 years, have raised two children, and have managed to eat (mostly) healthy foods and to exercise regularly for most of my life.  I have been hardworking and dedicated: however, for the past several years now, a little voice in my head has been telling me a change is coming and it is time to write and pursue my passion for travel and Italian food.

… So as I travel around Italy and create this blog to share my passion for food and travel, I am proud to say that I listened to that little voice and am very happy about it. I come from Italian roots and recently went to southern Italy to find the home of my great grandparents. I picked up a few recipes and cooking techniques along the way! I can’t wait to share it all with you.

I promise to test each recipe several times and give you the most accurate instructions and measurements possible. With that being said, it always takes a few tries to get a recipe just right, but that is where the fun comes in.  Please follow An Italian Dish for email updates and posts, and I’ll keep in touch during my travels to Italy. I plan to attend the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in September 2018.

For more about me, keep reading…

As a young girl, I was a cooking nerd. A lump of dough and a rolling pin were my favorite toys. My friends and I made taffy, cookies and cakes after school, and I used to enter my apple pies in the county fair. I am no longer a nerd;  I believe the term is “foodie,” thank you very much.

My Italian grandmother nurtured my penchant for cooking and the love of kitchen. I have fond memories of her green-tiled kitchen. She was loving and warm, but she was a stickler for detail and precision. I appreciate her high standards which translate into love and respect. She loved me so much; she wanted to pass on the skills worked hard to learn. Thank you, Nana, for teaching me to use a knife to smooth off the top when measuring flour.

nana and me in the kitchen
                                                        Nana and me- circa 1964

 I live in California and travel to Italy to conduct my food research. By research I mean eating Italian food, drinking Italian wine, visiting farms and markets. Life is good.

I was raised on the typical American diet- mostly meat and potatoes- but I no longer eat that way. I am a rebel and question just about everything. You might notice that the recipes in this Italian food blog are vegetarian or vegan. I understand the benefits of less meat, more veggies and feature Italian recipes that are naturally vegetarian. I don’t promote one particular diet, but I aspire to embrace the Italian cuisine; the reverence for land and the people and dishes prepared with simple and fresh ingredients.


La Dolce Vita

Food is the fabric of Italian life. It is the slow leisurely meals. It is the pleasure and sensual pleasures of time spent eating and preparing food with those you love.

I love Slow Food

The Slow Food Movement, which began in Italy in 1989, embraces Italian food and culture and brings it to the international stage.  Their motto is food should be “good, clean and fair.”  If you are interested in learning more about Slow Food, you can read my piece, here

Enough said. It’s time to start eating.

6 thoughts

  1. I love reading your blog, Ellen. Beautiful images and the food look so yummy I know it will help me appreciate the flavor of my next meal. I am going to attempt to leave my email here. i’ve been unable to enter my email in the page for “following”. Thank you for sharing your story, your gift. Ciao Bella!

    1. Hi Maria,
      Thanks so much for your feedback and your appreciation of the Italian cuisine. I don’t know what happened with the “following page,” but I will check to see if I can find the problem. I want you to be able to get my blog posts and updates in your email. A presto!

  2. Hi, Anita… Carole in Massachusetts checking in. I’m looking forward to hearing first-hand about all your travels and adventures this fall! Your far-flung Avellino cousins are excited for you!

    1. Hi Carole,
      Thanks for checking in. Yes, I am counting the days until my adventure begins in late August, and I look forward to sharing all of it with my newly-found cousins. It is so funny… my blog name is An Italian Dish, and when all squished together looks like Anita Liandish, when my real name is Ellen. My daughter teases me about it and calls me Anita. Thanks again for getting in touch!

Your comments are always welcome!