For local cook and mother of two, Nadia Dei Rocini, cooking is like therapy. Growing up with an Italian father and an Austrian mother, Nadia has always been surrounded by food and the idea that food is a way of expressing one’s love.
“At Christmas time, some of the traditional Austrian recipes would come out, but day-to-day it was mainly Italian [food],” she says of her childhood family meals.
Nadia has launched her own cookbook, Nadia’s Italian – Mix it Your Way, dedicated to her late father, Vincenzo. It features 31 beloved and tried and tested recipes from her own Italian kitchen.
“So, all the recipes in there are dishes that I grew up with. Some I’ve tweaked a little bit,” she says.
“There’s a ‘lazy lasagna’, so it’s not the traditional one … It’s got a few shortcuts in it because everyone’s busy.”
The book started with an idea in the back of Nadia’s mind, and has come to fruition after years of hard work, recipe testing and encouragement from family and friends. And, if you’re a Thermomix convert like Nadia, each recipe has both the traditional method and a method adapted for the Thermomix.
“[The book] was always an idea in my in my mind for the last 10 years,” she says.
“And then with the passing of my dad, it was like, okay, you know, life’s short, you’ve got to do what you want to do.”
While developing the book, Nadia was also making dishes available to order via her website.
“I put all my effort into it, wanted to do it. And I’ve done it,” she says.
“I think it’s important for the kids to see that, you know, they can want something and they can work hard for it and they can do it as well.
“Food for me, health-wise it’s important, emotion-wise, too. And that’s how I think of it, how I show my love for people and for my family… It is life for me, food,” she says.
Nadia’s Italian is being launched today, Saturday 26 September. Copies will be available online from nadiasredkitchen.com.au
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