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The Pensiero Press 2020
Number of Pages: 96

Don't Cut the Basil: Five Generations of Authentic Italian Recipes

Don’t Cut the Basil is filled with over 25 authentic Italian recipes, pictures, and the stories behind them, spanning five generations.

The authors, three Sicilian cousins (Angela, Corrina, and Mary), are excited to share their family recipes with your family! Their grandmothers and mothers taught them the true Italian way, to cook without measuring and to use their senses to know when the food was ready – always by look, smell, and taste.

This cookbook includes multiple generations of family recipes that are simple and easy to make.  Some recipes evolved with each families’ taste; therefore, multiple versions are included for you to enjoy.  From the traditional pasta sauces to the delicious Italian cookies, these recipes will make your taste buds want more!

Don’t Cut the Basil is the perfect cookbook to make mouthwatering Italian food for your family and friends without leaving your home! Mangia!



Angela Siciliano is a home cook. Growing up she was taught to cook traditional Italian meals at home, never eating out. She has many memories spent in the kitchen with her grandmother cooking and listening to stories on how her great grandmother would do things. Angela’s biggest influence and teacher was her mother.
Angela’s mother taught her the true Italian way to cook—by look, taste, smell, and love—which is never formally measuring but using the senses to know when things are ready. In the Italian culture, food is love! Italians
cook and share large amounts of food with friends, family, and anyone that
may visit.
Angela redesigns recipes making them her own by using this technique of her senses, from how she was taught. She is now passing her family’s traditional
Italian cooking on to her two daughters. Research finds that people who eat
home-cooked meals on a regular basis tend to be happier, healthier, and live
longer lives.
Angela has a passion for health and fitness. She is an American Council on
Exercise (ACE) certified instructor a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)
and owns her own business – Adapted Fitness and Yoga Plus, LLC. Angela’s
business primarily focuses on fitness for individuals with disabilities and their
families. Angela also started a YouTube channel (Adapted Fitness and Yoga Plus) where she shares fitness videos and short cooking lessons.
Angela is excited to share her traditional family recipes along with the ones
she’s created. She invites everyone that loves family, Italian food, and traditions to cook with her.
For more information on Adapted Fitness please visit her
website: www.adaptedfyp.com or email: adaptedfyp@gmail.com

Mary learned to make family recipes from her mother and grandmother. As a young girl, Mary loved being in the kitchen tasting the freshly made sauce, smelling the cookies baking in the oven, or waiting for the next taste test. When cooking or baking, Nonna Mary used to ask Mary to sing or whistle. Mary learned later in life that it wasn’t to hear her (beautiful?) singing voice, but that Nonna Mary did this to be sure Mary wasn’t eating the ingredients! Nonna Mary was an amazing baker.
Two favorite memories of Mary’s are Sunday family dinners and Christmas Eve. Sunday dinners were a family favorite that her mother carried on for years—fresh sauce cooking all day, fresh Italian bread, homemade meatballs and sausage, different types of pastas… The entire family would come
over and sit around the kitchen table for hours. Every Christmas Eve the older
generation carried on the tradition of the seven fishes, and there would be a
kitchen full of different types of homemade pizzas. We would crowd around the table and enjoy one another’s company.
Mary has her Ph.D. from Miami University, MBA from Cleveland State University, and BA from Baldwin Wallace University; she has numerous publications and has earned multiple awards. She is a tenured university professor and also a contributor to In the Limelight and ItalyUSA magazines. Mary is also the owner of Ciao Down Italian Cookies, LLC, a side business she started in honor of her grandmother.
She is a proud member of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America
(OSDIA); Mary serves as a co-host on the Facebook series “OSDIA Interviews
LIVE” where she had the pleasure of interviewing amazing Italian and Italian
American chefs including Lidia Bastianich, Mary Ann Esposito, Ale Gambini,
and Cara Di Falco. Additionally, she was asked by Ale Gambini to write a review for her new cookbook. For the Order, she serves in multiple roles nationally, for the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and locally. Additionally, her mother was quoted a number of times in the Cleveland Memories book series, sharing stories of her Italian upbringing.

Corrina learned to cook at home from her mother. Growing up in an all-Italian family, waking up on Sunday morning smelling her mother’s sauce on the stove was a weekly family tradition. Corrina would stand in the kitchen and watch her mother add all the ingredients into a large sauce pan to simmer all day long. Since her mother didn’t measure anything, she remembers frequently being asked to “check the sauce on the stove” by taking a spoon and tasting it to determine if anything needed to be added. Sundays meant being in the kitchen all day with much anticipation for a large pasta dinner with sausage and meatballs.
Corrina remembers when her grandmother threw flour in the middle of the
kitchen table and said, “Let me show you how we make homemade dough!”
Cooking traditions have been something that have been passed down as her
grandmother would share stories about her mother and sisters, and how they
would cook Italian foods and desserts. She was taught how to make her famous pepperoni roll and homemade pizzas from her mother, who would make them for all her birthday parties throughout her childhood. She remembers her friends
always excited to come over for dinner, knowing they were getting a homemade Italian meal. Now, Corrina is always asked to make her pepperoni roll when she is invited to any events, and it’s still a party favorite! Growing up, any special occasions, holidays, and even funerals have always been centered around Italian food. Corrina was taught that this is how you show love, support, and sympathy to others—through the love of food.
As an avid marathon and ultra-marathon runner, Corrina takes advantage of
what she learned from her grandmother and mother. She takes her pasta and pizza cooking skills to create carb-loaded meals to fuel for her runs and shares those with friends in the running community. Corrina earned her BA from Baldwin Wallace University. As a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and working in the corporate financial industry for over 20 years, she continues to share recipes with co-workers and friends, who always look to add traditional Italian meals to their lives.