How I learnt to love Italian cuisine..

When people ask me what my favorite food is, I am always quick to answer spaghetti!  People always wondered why spaghetti was my favorite food when I am Korean and I grew up to my mom cooking predominately Korean food for my sisters and I to eat. But when I think back on it, I fell in love with spaghetti when I was watching Lady and the Tramp.  I was only six years old and I have never even eaten spaghetti before but while I was watching the movie, I thought it was the most cutest scene ever when Lady and Tramp were sharing a plate of spaghetti with meat balls and they ended up kissing from eating one strand of noodle together. Image Image from
And ever since I have watched that scene, even though I have never tried it before, my favorite food became spaghetti… I was desperate to know how spaghetti and meatballs tasted, what the sauce was made of, how meat could be formed into little balls.  So I begged my mom over and over again to find a recipe so she can cook it for me.  At first my mom was hesitant because all she has ever cooked was Korean food and that’s what she was good at making, so she did not want to fail me. But after countless times of nagging and begging for her to make spaghetti, she found a recipe in a magazine and decided to make some spaghetti for me to try.


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When my mom started to prep to make the spaghetti, I was just so excited with all the groceries laid out across our countertop, there were boxes of noodles, pounds and pounds of ground beef, jars of pasta sauce, many unusual spices, bread crumbs and a whole bunch of other ingredients waiting to be cooked.  My mom then started prepping the meatballs and mixed the ground beef with eggs, breadcrumbs, and spices.  She then started to roll the meatballs up into big round balls as I had seen them in the movie and placed them on a skillet to brown on each side. After that, she put them into the oven so that they cook fully on the inside as well! When she started to cook the pasta sauce that is when my mouth started to water, even though it was jars of spaghetti sauce, the smell of the sauce was something I was very unfamiliar with. I could not wait for everything to be done so I could finally try my first plate of spaghetti with meatballs!!



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My mom pulled the meatballs out of the oven and began to place some noodles on my favorite pink plate and poured the delicious smelling sauce all over it.  When all that was done, my mom gently placed three huge round meatballs on top of everything and it looked so scrumptious and much better than it had looked in the movie.  It was everything I dreamt of plus more! 



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When I twirled the noodles for the first time with my fork and the sauce was dripping down, I took one of the biggest bites I have ever taken of food. And might I say it was more delicious then I could have ever imagined it to be… Ever since then spaghetti has been my favorite food and I literally could eat spaghetti for breakfast, lunch and dinner for weeks on straight.  Then as I grew older, Italian food stuck to me and it became one of my most favorite cuisines to eat when I was out.  And because of that, I discovered baked ziti. When I first tried it, I was taken back with how delicious it was, the top of the slice being so crispy yet it was so gooey with cheese on the inside!  It is a cross between spaghetti and lasagna and it could not be any more amazing.   I love baked ziti because it is foolproof; a person like my mom who has only cooked Korean food was able to even make spaghetti successfully! So although I am not much of a cook and I do not like cooking at all, I am going to attempt and try to make baked ziti, even if it may be foolproof.


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4 thoughts on “How I learnt to love Italian cuisine..

  1. Great post, Nancy! I really enjoyed the story of your mom making spaghetti for you for the first time, especially the part about her serving it on your favorite pink plate. I also think the story transitioned well from spaghetti, which was your favorite food as a kid, to baked ziti, which is your favorite now. Well done.

  2. Hi Nancy–I bet you were not the only kid begging for spaghetti and meatballs after the movie. Disney probably owned Ronzoni.
    Did you take all the pictures? If not, you need to credit the source with a hyperlink.
    Some teacher comments: In the second paragraph, call the dish spaghetti and meatballs more because then if will make more sense that your mom had to find a recipe. You can use “it” once you have established that it is spaghetti and meatballs.
    Also, at the end I was confused. If you make baked ziti all the time, why is it challenging for you to make it? Are you going to make it in an unusual way? You won’t learn anything if you do something you already know how to do. Can you clarify that part at the end?

  3. I love your story about your mom making spaghetti and meatballs… I think every child was begging for spaghetti. I know I have a couple of pictures of myself as a child with spaghetti sauce all over my face and shirt. Do you have a baby picture like that too? If so it NEEDS to be in this post 🙂 all in all great story and the picture of backed ziti looks so good i wanna try it, I may have to steal your recipe if it all works out.

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