Ministry of protection of mistreated foods

there is no limit to bad imitations
there is no limit to bad imitations

If Jamie Oliver has a ministry, I also want one. I need it for Italian food. For all those recipes of our wonderful cuisine that have been mistreated to the point of becoming unrecognizable, unhealthy and often unpalatable.

My ministry will make laws so the following offense will be punished:

  • 1) adding fruits, corn, nutella or anything sweet to a pizza topping
  • 2) using oregano in a bolognese  sauce and virtually in any traditional pasta sauce. Oregano is used sparingly in Italian cooking and hardly ever in a pasta sauce.
  • 3) using ketchup, curry, tandoori powder, coriander, ginger on a dish and calling it Italian
    The Ministry will also promote a ban on canned ravioli, microwave lasagna, spagbol, thick cheese crusts and any starbucked elaborations of proper espresso and cappuccino.
    Please note that most Italians, and surely those who do not travel abroad, have never heard of Alfredo or marinara  sauce, spaghetti and meatballs, veal Parmesan, butter garlic bread and even macaroni cheese.
    Even though some of these recipes might be delicious when well prepared they are “Italian style”, not Italian.
    The Ministry will take all measures to avoid confusion.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly! There is an awful tendency here in Australia to turn everything into ‘pesto’, so that the original genovese pesto has lost all meaning. The other sad trend is to stick a forest of deli items on top of a slab of toast and call it ‘bruschetta’. Aaagh!! These nasty imposters have taken over from the over stufffed foccacie of the 90s.

  2. Ciao Morgana, you are so right. Even Italians try to imitate themselves. The things we see in the fast foods nowadays are just horrible. They have now started with those hypercaloric coffee drinks. Why cannot people just have something simple?

  3. Il blog è meraviglioso…. non ci entravo da un po’ ma sta crescendo in modo perfetto…. baci… proverò a farla ‘sta pasta fresca…

  4. Brilliant post, Letizia. Very sad, but true — some real atrocities have been committed in the (false) name of Italian cooking.
    I’ve never heard of spagbol (happily) but I’m afraid that I have seen people put ketchup on spaghetti and think that constitutes a sauce. It’s just ugly.

    • Ciao Giuseppe, che bello vederti qui! Fammi piuttosto qualche ricetta siciliana!
      Sandra, I am told that “spagbol” is the UK slang for “spaghetti alla bolognese”. First of all one, should not use spaghetti with a bolognese sauce as the sauce tends to slip away from the spaghetti. Second, as the name sounds really terrible, I cannot make myself expecting much from the taste.

  5. The infamous ‘spagbol’ is also an Australian dish. I suspect it began here, given the tendency for Australians to abbreviate everything. The aussie ‘spagbol’ consists of a sauce made of beef mince, tomato paste and cans of tomatoes.( sometimes with oregano and garlic added) The key feature of this dish is that the “bol” is dumped in an ugly lump on top of the pasta. The italo – australiani have long influenced Australian cuisine since the 1950s. ‘Spagbol’, however, has mutated to resemble a dog’s dinner.

  6. The abuse of Italian food continues in St. Louis, Missouri, too. At least no sign of northern or central Italy cuisine is present. Friends may ask me for a restaurant recommendation and I have to say there is no real Italian food here. So, we may go to an “Italian” restaurant, but I just consider it some other type of food. And am always disappointed.
    Letizia’s cooking classes taught me that less is best, and opens up the palate to taste ingredients that otherwise would be lost.

  7. […] The recipe of the traditional Neapolitan pizza  is now protected by a law dictating the ingredients and methods of preparation. A traditional pizza Margherita should be made with a 10 hours leavened dough, hand rolled, topped with fresh crushed tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil and basil and cooked for 60 to 90 seconds at 485 °C (905 °F) in a wood oven. That’s it, no pineapple. […]

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