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cookinginvictoria  Sunday Pork Ragu

We have always pictured this stalwart Food52 voice from the north as Canadian through and through: after all, she is "cooking in Victoria." Fine print, people! But this cook's a transplanted New Yorker who opted for "a yard with plum and apple trees, a raspberry and strawberry patch and a Concord grape arbor" over the fresh ravioli and bagels back east. Frankly, it sounds like a more than decent trade when you tack on her mushrooming vegetable and herb garden and the inevitably divine let's-all-move-out-west-shall-we farmer's market around the corner. Not even a sesame H&H (may she rest in peace) toasted dark with cream cheese holds a candle to that sort of bounty.

Uprooted, replanted, and yet, many a Sunday lunch recipe lets on that cookinginvictoria grew up by the stove. The granddaughter of immigrants from the Southern Italian province of Basilicata, this cook puts the nonna in locavore. Her recipes look (and taste!) loved-up. Do your own patties with her Italian "Sausage" Sandwiches with Spicy Grilled Peppers and Fennel-Onion Mustard or stuff those meatballs with Jenny's fave, ricotta. From her Spaghettini with Clams and "Rings" to Weed Soup, her headnotes (see the soup) always inform and charm, her instructions (see the pasta) delineate and guide. We're pretty sure her grandmother would be proud.

Read cookinginvictoria's profile Q&A below and follow her on Twitter.

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Some stringy, unidentified meat in China (hopefully, it wasn't dog or cat!)

  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Pasta with lots of butter and Parmesan cheese -- comfort food from childhood.

  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    My grandmother's salad bowl and a rolling pin my father made for me.

  • Your ideal meal:
    Homemade pasta, grilled lamb, locally grown vegetables, something chocolate for dessert, lots of good wine, all enjoyed with family and friends.

  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    I would like to take a cook's tour through all of the regions of Italy.

  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    Usually about 2-4 at any given time -- not enough!

  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:4-6

  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    Not having a gas stove or a dishwasher!

  • Your favorite cookbook:
    My list changes all of the time, but right now my current faves are Adhoc at Home, Urban Italian, NY Times Essential Cookbook, and Good to the Grain (thank you, Food52, for introducing me to this book!)