Piergiorgio Nicoletti

In our family in Venice, I was the only son who was interested in watching my mother and older sister cook. But, at ten, when my father, brother and I moved to Rome by ourselves, I began cooking out of necessity. My father and I took turns, and it became almost a game to see who could learn more about regional cuisine. Since then, I’ve worked as a cook in Italy, Paris, and Berlin and have never stopped loving and learning about food wherever I live. Since moving to Bologna, considered Italy’s capital of food, it’s a joy and a privilege to be Delallo’s writing and video correspondent for culinary traditions and trends in Italy today. 

Your Quote on Food, Cooking, Eating, or Italian Food
My favorite quote comes from my American wife Amy, with whom I co-write food articles; she says: “Every animal eats, but only human beings cook.”

Your Favorite Recipe
Pasticcio di tortellini con funghi di bosco (Baked fresh tortellini with wild mushrooms)

Most Underrated/Mis-understood Ingredient
Parsley—even though in Italy there’s an expression “Sei come il prezzimolo, sei dappertutto” (“you’re like parsley, you’re everywhere”)—parsley is mainly just used as decoration; but the fact is, it adds a wonderful flavor and is very healthy. Every time you use garlic, you should use parsley.

Your Best Kitchen Tip
Don’t waste anything.

If you were a food or dish, what would you be?
Fresh cream—so that I could change the color of any sauce.

Pantry or Fridge Must Have
Canned peeled tomatoes.

Some of your earliest memories of cooking
I remember making rigatoni with butter and sage, and parmigiano, for my father when I was ten. I loved the smell of fresh sage, which grew in a little pot on our terrace in Rome. I had a vague memory of having eaten it in some pasta dish before, and I was thrilled when I found a way to do it myself.

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