Italian cooking recipes, or Italian cuisine in general, is often associated with the "cucina povera". Its wealth is rooted in its simplicity
Even in Italy's fine dining circuit, one will always be faced with the "cucina casalinga", the cuisine of the housewives - simply because it has stood the test of time.
The "buongustaio", the "good taster", as the gourmet is called in Italy, doesn't declare good cooking to be some sort of science - either it tastes good or it doesn't. It's as simple as that.
Cucina povera is not just poor people's cooking - Italian recipes live off their regional ingredients and simplicity - which is not to be confused with plainness.
It's not about sparing any effort or flavor - just think of the risotti that require twenty minutes of continuous stirring - much rather, conventional wisdom has it that every single ingredient is good enough to trigger a taste sensation of its own - so why risk covering up the essential flavor by creating too much of a hodgepodge.
The cucina povera, which offers dishes that seem very simple, just like the mentioned risotto (rice, broth, parsley, Parmesan, butter) or panzanella (old bread, onions, garlic, maybe tomatoes or some celery, dressed with olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar), ribollita (soup made of bread, beans, vegetables), or stoccafisso, finds the best prerequisites in Italy a climate in which fruits, herbs, and vegetables can thrive and don't need to be subjected to any long transport routes, the sea, which seems to extend endlessly;
this not only makes fresh fish and seafood readily available - just consider the connected trade routes and the international influences on Italian cooking recipes - and the mentality of the people, who have always appreciated taking good meals surrounded by their family.
Not only through its geographic location does Italy a culinary advantage - after all, it used to be a global empire that lively interacted with many foreign cultures.
Now, especially in Italy, regional differences are crucial, and traditions and methods of preparation, just like dialects, may be entirely different from village to village.
Still, many Italian cooking recipes share notable characteristics across regions which have nothing to do with pizza or olive oil (in the Piedmont or in the Aosta Valley, for example, people cook almost exclusively with butter or lard): this includes using dried beans and chickpeas, the stoccafiso (stockfish) mentioned earlier, and baccalá (dried cod), preparing frittatas (omelets), and baking focaccia (flat bread).
More about the topic in the 2nd part - Italian Cooking Recipes