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When did you learn how to cook?
TG: When I got married. When I was working I wouldn't get home from the city till 7:30 or 8:00 and my mom would have dinner ready for me on the table. But when I got married I would call my mom and I would say, "Ma I want to make this dish that you make" and she would tell me over the phone, and Joe, my husband, thought it was delicious.
So really this cookbook is your mom's.
TG: Well, it is my mom's recipes. There are a few that are mine, like the zucchini spaghetti and the lemon granita.
You have four daughters. Are any of them picky eaters?
TG: None of them. They eat whatever I make. My friends' kids come over and once they try my food, they're like, "Oh my God," and I tell their mothers that they ate and they're like, "What?" That's because their moms don't cook for them. My kids love to try different foods. If I want to take a night off and order Chinese, Gia says, "No mommy I want you to cook." That makes me happy and I want to cook for them more. I think if you make good authentic Italian food, they won't be fussy eaters.
How has Italian food been ruined here in America?
TG: Everyone thinks Italian food is fattening, but it's the American way that makes it fattening. The way I cook, that's the way that Europe cooks. Here everyone loves the calzones and chicken parms, all the fattening foods. That's a misconception about Italian food that is not true.
I saw you make tomato sauce with your family in the first episode. Do you do it every year?
TG: Yes this year we made 180 jars. The most we've ever made is 300.
What else do you do that's old school?
TG: We make homemade sausages every February. Sweet and spicy. We chop the meat, season it and I know it sounds gross we stuff them in pig intestine. We make jarred eggplants, dried tomatoes and homemade pasta.
This season everyone will get to know the real me. Last season they thought I had a cook and nanny but this season they'll see the true Teresa. I take care of my family. I cook every night.