Where to Eat a Home-Cooked Meal in Italy

Italy is especially famous for its history, art, upholding tradition and the importance of the family. What happens when you combine all these things? One answer is that culinary culture is produced, something that Italy is also famous for the world over. Tourists visit different parts of Italy every year and enjoy the many traditions found all over the country, satisfying various international palates.

Most tourists enjoy great meals and snacks at restaurants, trattorias, pizzerias or caffés. Unless they have local family or friends, they generally only hear stories about the great home-cooked meals many Italian families enjoy together, often gathering around the table on a Sunday afternoon.

Without trying to befriend strangers just to be invited to their homes, visitors can look into an evening with the Home Food organization, which matches people interested in learning about Italian cooking with the true experts: home cooks located all over the country specialized in regional cuisine who open their homes to interested guests.

This is no chef-organized cooking class with groups of 15-20 students each at their own kitchenette work station. But you might learn more at a Home Food evening than at one of these cooking classes, just by watching the home cooks at work and learning about the history of the ingredients and the various techniques used.

Guests need to register on the website (available in both Italian and English) before signing up for a meal, which generally cost around €50 per person, including wines. After registering, the next step is to find an upcoming event in your area. (Remember that Milano is located in the Lombardy region!). There are several participants in the city with a few different menu options to choose from, but be aware that since hosts are not professional cooks, they may be available only at certain times of the year.

When browsing the association’s website, you’ll notice that the women hosts are called Cesarine, in honor of the ancient Roman term used to refer to an important leader.

The Cesarine ladies use traditional recipes and products – no fusion or new age experiments – and stay as close to the original as possible. They also all have a passion for cooking, knowledge and understanding of the traditional recipes of your region or of Italy, to have the desire to share those recipes, to possess good communication skills, and the time and domestic space in which to receive Guests.

So when you have a hankering to eat a traditional plate of cassoeula in Milano, the real salama da sugo in Ferrara or the most authentic amatriciana pasta in Rome, all using the best local products, be sure to check out Home Food and enjoy!

Want a Home Cooked Meal? Why Not DIY?

Autumn is here already and before you even have time to realize it you are right back into a busy semester. Don’t we all have those days where you just want to go home and stay in for the evening? If you ever feel like having a relaxed evening at home while still wanting to eat Italian food, why not try cooking something yourself? It might seem like a daunting process at first, but fear not! With a few ingredients and some simple instructions, you can prepare a tasty home cooked Italian meal for yourselves and even call your friends over to try some.

To keep up with the autumn traditions in the country, we suggest you try cooking risotto with funghi porcini. Risotto with funghi porcini is a well loved classic Italian dish, and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.

 

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • Italian risotto: 180g to 200g
  • Porcini mushrooms (dried): 50g
  • Vegetable broth: about 1 litre
  • White Wine: ½ glass
  • White onion: ½
  • Garlic Clove: ½
  • Butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Parsley (either fresh or dry)
  • Parmigiano reggiano (grated)

Soak the porcini mushrooms in water before starting the cooking. Do not throw the water away, as it can be subsequently added to the risotto. In the meantime, prepare the vegetable broth and make sure that it is hot.

Then, in a saucepan heat a bit of oil and butter together. Finely chop the onion and garlic and sauté them for a few minutes until the onions are cooked. Drain the mushrooms from their liquid and squeeze them well. Chop into chunks and add them to the saucepan. Cook together for a few minutes with the sauce.

As soon as the mushrooms start becoming soft, add the rice to the pan. Let the rice cook in the sauce, use the white wine to mix all the ingredients together and stir well. Lower the heat slightly and add the vegetable broth to this mixture slowly when the risotto looks dry. Also, at this point add some of the water in which the mushrooms were soaked. This will help give an added flavor to the risotto. Make sure to keep mixing the rice and sauce together without keeping it still.

Once all the water is evaporated, turn off the heat. Add a little more butter and plenty of grated Parmigiano cheese and mix well together. Let it sit for a few minutes before garnishing it with finely chopped parsley and serving it.

We recommended to serve the risotto with white wine.