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(by Marilisa Racco)

My mother hails from a small town in the hills of Cilento that has a beautiful name, literally: Bellosguardo, which means “beautiful view.” But what’s perhaps most beautiful is its culinary lore.

Seriously, you’ve never been to a place so dense with good cooks. All of whom cook the same dishes, and all really, really well. Or at least to the pedestrian palate. To those more seasoned, my family’s were often the best. My great-grandmother was nicknamed Donna Cucinozza (roughly translated: Lady CooksSoGood), and my grandmother, well, they didn’t give her a nickname, but I’m pretty sure Michelangelo didn’t go by Mickey the Brush, either.