A Taste of Amore was created with a simple mission — collect, recreate and share my family’s classic recipes from the Puglia region of Italy.
As a child of immigrants — my parents (separately) emigrated from Molfetta, Italy to the bustling Italian community of Northern New Jersey in the 1970s — this is the food I grew up on, enjoyed with relatives and continue to cook for my own family to this day.
I believe that a family’s food traditions really are a reflection of the their immigrant experience, representing everything from socio-economic status, regional preferences to access to local food sources.
Molfetta, near Bari on the “heel” of Italy’s “boot”, is a fisherman’s town. The city’s famous Mercato Minuto Pesce fish market offers the best daily catch from the Adriatic Sea, including scungilli, calamari and clams.
Seafood, fruit and seasonal vegetables are plentiful in the city’s sun-dappled kitchens and the cooking is simple, bright and fresh. You wouldn’t find butter in my family’s pantry as it wasn’t widely available in southern Italy — we made due with (plenty of) olive oil instead. Lentils, beans and fish substituted for the “meat and potatoes” found in other European cuisines.
Tomatoes are consumed-year round — either grown from apartment balconies, fresh picked locally and bought at the market or poured as sauce from one of the dozens of jars my mother prepared in the heat of the summer at the peak of the season.
You may already be familiar with some of these dishes, while others you may be encountering for the first time. Whether you’re looking for a new take on an old favorite or seeking to discover a new facet of Italian cooking and cuisine, I hope my family’s recipes bring joy in the discovery, the making and the eating.
So without further ado — cin cin and mangia. Buon appetito.
…The cooking is simple, bright and fresh.
While the recipes collected on this site represent the efforts of generations of great cooks, passed on from one nonna to the next, I’m happy to be bringing them to you now! I’m Dore — a high school teacher by trade and an Italian cook by passion. My parents emigrated to Northern New Jersey in the 1970s and I still live in the Greater New York area, enjoying being part one of the United States’ strongest Italian-American communities and having access to familiar, high-quality ingredients. You may spot some local purveyors mentioned within these pages — try them out!
Beyond my career and love of cooking, I’m married and a mother of two daughters, who keep me plenty busy in their own right. Like any good Italian daughter, I visit my parents regularly and enjoy nothing more than a Sunday dinner at my parent’s table with my extended family, enjoying free-flowing wine and conversation.
While I don’t grow many of the ingredients I use, I dream of building a greenhouse and cultivating a rich home garden of my favorite herbs and vegetables to be used year-round.
Feel like we can collaborate? Happy to discuss — reach out and let’s talk!