ummmmm... i was raised in new york, i'm food snobbbbbish.
my first italian food (don't laugh) was in college, my seminary room mate's grandmother, from the old country, no english spoken, cooking at the crack of dawn in all black from STILL mourning a husband dead 10 years, THIS is what all italian food has been measured against all my adult life (pssst, grandma, no one lives up to you).
i don't have patience for cooking a "fancy" meal, although i love them when i go out to eat. i cook comfort food. a big bubbling cauldron of mac & cheese on the spur of the moment is awesome... a vat of chili takes a bit longer.