I find it beautiful when we're in Italy that everybody sits down at the table together. My mother-in-law is like, 'It doesn't matter what's going on in the house, who is fighting, who is upset, who has appointments, you sit down at that table at one o'clock.'
As a matter of fact, I've been to Italy many times before I met my husband, which he can't even imagine that I could possibly know anything about Italian food. But, you know, Italian food's really basic, and there's so many different variations on it that what my husband did is he broke it down for me.
I'm teaching my daughters to be ladies by showing them how to dress appropriately when they leave the house, and how to be thoughtful and polite.
I've never wanted to be the ingenue. Now that I'm getting into my forties, I think my time as a woman has arrived; I think I might have a new moment in my career. I have that drive left - just for a little while.
I like to watch Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, because I like them when they travel. I like Ina Garten, 'The Barefoot Contessa.' Giada is really nice, but I get a little bit bored with just staying in the kitchen.
A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.
I think my career would probably be in a better place had I been more aggressive. But I don't have it in me. I'm not a competitive person, and I'm also really private.
My wrists, which are tattooed with my daughters' names, are always occupied by a watch.
For holidays, I like doing special cheery touches around the table, like color-coordinating the plates and napkins to fit the theme.
My husband wrote me love letters while I was on location in Canada and pregnant. They turned into being about food, and it turned it into a cookbook. He called it 'The Tuscan Cookbook for the Pregnant Male.' It was kind of genius. When I took it a book agent, he was like, 'Men don't buy cookbooks.'
My mom did not have money. She was a single mom, on and off in periods between marriages. My husband, however, grew up on a wonderful farm in Tuscany, in Florence, and his family was so entertaining in terms of growing their own food and using the fruit of their land. We have very, very different experiences.
Lunch is formal - that's when my husband and I have our dates. And dinner is formal: we sit down every day with the kids at seven o' clock.
My husband, Gabriele, is a musician, and I love music, so you can bet it's a really important part of our home entertaining repertoire, even if it means Gabriele making a really good playlist for a dinner party.
Well, you know, I have always had an issue with the whole weight thing with people in general because I happen to love how big women look. I mean, it's all a perspective. It's all an opinion, and I think sort of the Rubenesque, voluptuous body is a lot sexier than the boney bag of bones with fake everything.
My mother was really young when she had me, so she was a horrible cook, but we lived with my grandmother, who was fantastic. We eventually got our own place, and my mother started learning to cook. But it was also the '70s, so she was very experimental, and, well - thank God we had a dog.
There's so much importance in honoring your everyday hero. It doesn't take money. It doesn't take connections. What matters is that people get involved. Whether your passion is gun control or food or whatever it may be, everybody needs to stop being so self-absorbed.
Doing makeup was a way to create characters, only I got tired of doing it for other people.
I'm a girl who's curvy, and I'm Latvian, but I don't have hips, and I have a tiny waist.
You know, you kind of lose some self-confidence after having kids because you'll never be the way you were. But I feel good.
Food brings back memories. I had a mom that wasn't a good cook, so I would eat my grandma's food. It was amazing because it brings back a time almost in Technicolor. I see her house, I see her stove; I think about what it felt like when I was sick, and it felt like love.
Thanksgiving was always a favorite holiday for me. The preparation was fun! My grandma and I would walk to the butcher on Jamaica Avenue in Queens, order the bird, and buy all the fixings at the market.
On the morning of Thanksgiving, I would wake up to the home smelling of all good things, wafting upstairs to my room. I would set the table with the fancy silverware and china and hope that my parents and grandmother wouldn't have the annual Thanksgiving fight about Richard Nixon.
Nobody has money right now. And eating is very important, but it doesn't need to be expensive. And to make - it doesn't need to be fancy, as long as it's fresh and simple. The simpler it is, the more fancy it actually comes out tasting.
I wanted to come up with a hybrid show of sorts that wasn't your traditional 'dump and stir' type of cooking show.
We have friends in Italy who have these old stoves, and they turn out the most beautiful food. All you really need is time, the best ingredients, and love.
Being typecast is a great thing for an actor. I was considered one of the New York mob actors.
I've always been someone who can just move. Some people in L.A. are addicted. They have to be here; they come for pilot season and stay here.
We go to Italy every winter, and my husband's mother has a bingo party on Christmas. Every woman brings a dish: lentils, cavolo nero, tons of beans, polenta, every type of cheese, bruschetta, fresh vegetables, and local olive oil and wine.
Basically, I start my morning off with a Bustelo coffee made in a mocha pot - the Bialetti. I warm some milk on the side, on my stove, and I add one teaspoon or half a teaspoon of real sugar. I have two of these every morning. Even when I was pregnant.
I haven't always had the money rolling in. I'm a character actor; it's not like I'm Gwyneth Paltrow - so I do have hard times still in my life. And that's even more why it's like you know what, I'm not that different from people going through it. I struggle; I look for a better deal at the grocery store.
In Italy, everybody buys silver for every special occasion. Baptisms, weddings, you get silver.
I have a fuller figure and sometimes like to hide my legs. Palazzo pants accentuate my small waist and make me feel a little like Katharine Hepburn.
I have a full Tuscan lunch and dinner every day in my home; my husband's a fantastic chef.
I'd love to give my girls a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all that jazz, but we've raised them to love Tuscan food so much that they don't care for it. My favorite is a nice polenta with beef stew and broccoli rabe on the side.
I started doing makeup to make a living. Then I said, You're not supposed to be putting powder on other people. You're supposed to be powdering yourself.
The kitchen is the heart of every home, for the most part. It evokes memories of your family history.
I like to have my hair grow, because I need to have hair for different roles. But I'm a woman, so I'm always cutting my hair off and wishing that I hadn't.
We go to several farms and look at foraging, and throw backyard parties with friends. We want to let people know they can enjoy a sense of Tuscany anywhere.
I'm a chocoholic. I need chocolate every day, like one little piece of Droste. I'm not into milk chocolate. But I don't like it when its super bitter. I need a sweet factor in there. I go for the 75 percent - that's good enough for me.
I think that my interpretation of Italian was a lot more southern than what my husband cooks. You know, I grew up in Queens and in Brooklyn, and we - really, it's more southern. It's Naples and Sicily. It's heavier. It's over-spiced. And like most Americans, I thought spaghetti and meatballs was genius.
Cook what's fresh for the day. When you're using fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods, it's easier to keep the weight off. And I eat whatever I want - just not a ton of it.
I have a very high metabolism, and I have to constantly eat to keep on going.
I always had dreams. I knew I wanted to have money to buy things at the flea market. That's worked out well.
My husband is from Florence. And he has a 15th-century barn that is completely rustic and very 'Green Acres'-like.
My mom had me at 16 and took me every place she went. I remember going on peace marches. She tried to take me to Woodstock - it was pouring rain. It was on my birthday, and I was crying so much in the car they turned the car around and dumped me at my grandmother's house... I had a little attitude.
I used to live above Manganaro's, when old Times Square was still peaking, and it still had a lot of diners and theaters on the forty deuce, as they used to call it. It was full of character. And it wasn't Disneyland. Now it's so touristy and full of bright lights, I can't stand it. It's like going to a big mall.