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Meet Paula

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Paula of Bell'alimento.

She’s a food writer and recipe developer whose passion for food is unmistakable. So is her creativity, as well as her pursuit of authentic Italian recipes, like her Chicken Marsala that you see above. Her name is Paula Jones. We know her here as bell’alimento, and today, we’ll all get to know her a little better.

Paula, as you probably already know, loves any and all things Italian. She was born in Georgia, but with a father in the military, she had the great opportunity to travel wherever the Air Force sent them. One of those assignments was Italy, and for her it was love at first sight (or love at first landing). After years of living there (she’s fluent in Italian) and subsequent trips to visit, she’s learned quite a bit about authentic Italian cuisine. She shares her recipes with us here at Tasty Kitchen and in her blog, bell’alimento. (Bell’Alimento is Italian for “beautiful food.”)

Her approach to food is anchored in the belief that beautiful food doesn’t need to be complicated. She loves using simple, quality ingredients, which is evident in some of her simple recipes below for common homemade items.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Paula of Bell'alimento (Homemade Ingredients)Clockwise from top left:Limoncello, Homemade Vanilla Extract, Lemon Curd, Homemade Ricotta, and Mascarpone.

Paula loves the creativity in cooking. She says the process of preparation, bringing ingredients together, stirring, simmering and cooking that results in something that the entire family can enjoy together is both therapeutic and rewarding. I say that if I had any of the main courses below, even just the eating part would be therapeutic and rewarding. She has more than the typical Chicken Marsala and Chicken Cacciatore in her recipe box. Believe me, she’s got much more.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Paula of Bell'alimento (Entrees)Clockwise from top left: Pepper Encrusted Steak, Roasted Leg of Lamb, Lobster Risotto, Chicken with Olives, Chicken with Rum, Lamb Stew, and Veal Chops.

She also has the sides and starters to complement any main course. From soups to salads and vegetable sides, any one would make a light meal in itself.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Paula of Bell'alimento (Sides and Starters)Clockwise from top left: Peas with Pancetta, Polenta Cakes, Tuscan Onion Soup, Spinach Salad with Walnuts and Craisins, Cauliflower au Gratin, and Stuffed Mussels.

Of course, an Italian recipe box wouldn’t be complete with pasta. She’s got an impressive selection there too, ranging from elaborate seafood linguine to a spaghetti dish so simple it only calls for four ingredients.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Paula of Bell'alimento (Pasta)Clockwise from top left: Fettucine Profumate, Spaghetti Aglio Olio e’ Peperoncino, Seafood Linguine, Pasta alla Norma, and Pasta au Gratin with Vegetables.

Paula also has a wicked sweet tooth. Although her Microplane grater is hands down her favorite kitchen tool (she grates a lot of cheese), her KitchenAid stand mixer is a close second. Which is a good thing, because then we get to enjoy some of the delicious desserts below from her recipe box.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Paula of Bell'alimento (Dessert)Clockwise from top left: Cannoli, Struffoli (Honey Balls), Lemon Gelato, Crostoli, and Panna Cotta

But do you know what she loves most of all? That one thing that she always has to have on hand? Nutella. In fact, if she were starving and only had 3 minutes to make something, she’d make a Nutella Strawberry Panino. I, for one, am glad she’s a self-proclaimed Nutella-holic. Just … just try to look at the collage below and tell me it doesn’t make you want to grab a jar yourself.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Paula of Bell'alimento (Nutella)Clockwise from top left: Nutella Creme Brulee, Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Brownies, Chocolate Torte with Nutella Mousse and Raspberries, Chocolate Nutella Molten Lava Cake, and Panna Cotta alla Nutella.

I rest my case.

Paula shared a few other interesting personal tidbits about herself, so let’s hear from her directly and get to know more about the awesome lady behind all these wonderful recipes!

Q: Tell us a little more about yourself.
A: I try to convince my family daily that we need a vacation home in Italy. I am addicted to my cell phone, I love Cinnamon Altoids, and don’t ever leave the house without lip gloss! I have a shoe and bag problem. I am fascinated by all things hot pink (both my laptop and cell phone are hot pink). Something that few people know about me is that I am enamored with the PBR (Professional Bull Riders Association). Gasp. Yes, it’s true. Really. My favorite bull is Chicken On A Chain! I would love to secretly go to the PBR Finals to cover what the cowboys are eatin’, but don’t tell.

Q: Do you have any favorite chefs or food celebrities? Who inspires you?
A: My mom and grandma were huge cooking inspirations. I learned what a pinch, a smidge, a dash and a little bit were from them!

Q: What is your go-to dish or meal?
A: Spaghetti alla Carbonara any day of the week.

Q: Do you have a memorable kitchen flop?
A: Well, I try to put those out of my mind, but my family assures me there have been some. Most recently, it was a fish dish that they made me promise not to ever make again.

Q: What gives you the most trouble in the kitchen?
A: Making gravy. I just can’t do it, much to the dismay of my very southern mother.

Q: Is there something that you always make at home and never buy at the store anymore?
A: Pesto, and now jelly! I have recently started canning and am hooked! Who knew it was this easy? Clearly my grandmother’s generation was on to something. Next up, I’ll be tackling canning tomatoes from my garden.

Q: Give us one of your favorite kitchen tips that you wish you’d always known.
A: Don’t be afraid to experiment! Some of the best meals are accidental.


Thanks, Paula! And now, I’m off to Google “Chicken On A Chain.”

Take a peek into the bell’alimento recipe box here at Tasty Kitchen. It’s bulging with mouth-watering recipes that your family is sure to love. Then visit her blog, bell’alimento, for even more of her cooking. Oh, and in her spare time, she also freelances as a contributor for another Paula: Paula Deen.



Comments are closed for this recipe.

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debbieh500 on 7.8.2010

All the recipes look wonderful, I can’t wait to try them.

Melanie on 6.13.2010

Congrats, Paula! You really do take the best pics and your Italian food recipes are to-die-for and easy. Thanks for all you do!

Paula - bell'alimento on 6.11.2010

Thank you ALL so much for your sweet sweet comments. I’m truly overwhelmed with your kindness! I wish I could have you ALL over for dinner {and well of course to help with the dishes LOL} MWAH!

Juliann Mathews on 6.10.2010

In addition to writing dynamite recipes and taking gorgeous photos of her creations, Paula is a wonderful woman whom I proud to call my Twitter buddy! Cheers to a rising star!

Amber on 6.10.2010

Love Paula’s recipe’s and my husband’s straight from Italy family drools at the chance to dine at my house…my secret is her website. Keep it coming. I can’t wait to try the mascapone cheese recipe this weekend.

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babzee on 6.9.2010

Happy canning. Nothing is better than opening a home-canned jar of tomato basil sauce in the dead of winter.

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sweepea on 6.9.2010

great interview with a great cook. thanks!

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dishinanddishes on 6.9.2010

Those brownies just made my mouth fall open! Paula’s recipes always make me smile. Great feature this week!

Swantine on 6.8.2010

So nice to meet you. Your recipes and photos are divine. I can’t wait to try your limoncello recipe. I have made limoncello twice with good success. (Everyone liked it.) I’m going to try your recipe next. It looks better!
Diane in California AKA Swantine

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Midwest Mrs on 6.8.2010

I always love your recipes, Paula!

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islandeat on 6.8.2010

I enjoyed finding out a bit more about you, Paula, in this fun interview. The canning thing is addictive for me, too (I finally learned last year from a professional chef-author friend of mine, who also had lived in Italy in her teens and 20s).

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Rebecca on 6.8.2010

It’s nice to learn more about you, Paula. Those Nutella recipes have my number! And Erika, another wonderful interview!

LadyGcooks on 6.8.2010

YUMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!! glad to make your acquaintance & looking forward to using your recipes!

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Sex, Food, and Rock & Roll on 6.8.2010

I just clicked 8 of those recipes to possibly put on next week’s menu. Paula, your food looks amazing!! I love Italian food so much.

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bjdfh on 6.8.2010

Paula has such delicious and creative recipes, thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

Georgia Pellegrini on 6.7.2010

Oh my I am drooling…what beautiful pictures of scrumptious food. I deem it time for an Italian night!

Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen on 6.7.2010

Paula, pasta is my favorite food EVER so going to bell’alimento is an awesome time. The food and pictures are both amazing. Loved the interview, too.

lisa on 6.7.2010

Paula’s photos are spectacular only to be topped by the actual mouth watering recipes! I’ve worked my way through most of them and my family has enjoyed every bite. Keep ‘em coming!

Leann Coleman on 6.7.2010

Take it from a southern girl, gravy is a learned art that only takes practice. I have to say, I can make gravy out of almost anything but it took me a lot of trials and errors to get here. Its really a ratio thing and once you get it, you will wonder why you ever had trouble with it. Try using Wondra flour. It is far more forgiving. Just keep trying. Life would be so empty without a pan of cream gracy!

Brit on 6.7.2010

Paula is the best! Congrats!!

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jvickery on 6.7.2010

I think I just saved every recipe in her recipe box! Seriously…I can’t wait to make everything!!

Fuji Mama on 6.7.2010

I LOVE Paula! Not only are her recipes fabulous, but she is SO MUCH FUN. Great interview.

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DessertForTwo on 6.7.2010

PBR rocks! Thanks, Paula! I’m so glad you were featured-I love your food and your website! :)

Tickled Red on 6.7.2010

Paula your recipes inspire and take me home all at once. Thanks for sharing your secrets :)

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bunkycooks on 6.7.2010

Your photos look awesome on this feature. Let me know when you go to Italy. I want to come, too! :)

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lizzy on 6.7.2010

Oh my word, those recipes and pictures are amazing! So glad to find out about Paula’s blog! Yummmm!

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Ree | The Pioneer Woman on 6.7.2010

Paula, your recipes absolutely kill me, in a very good way. Your recipe box is out of this world, and I want to make every pasta dish you’ve posted!

elizabeth simmons on 6.7.2010

Can I come over for dinner? At your summer place in Italy?? I can pack lightly and quickly!

Beautiful, simply beautiful. And, inspiring.


Double Dipped Life on 6.7.2010

This is one of my favorite blogs. It’s so fun to see original recipes with amazing photos!

Steffi on 6.7.2010

I’m so happy to see Paula listed here…she was one of my first friends here on TK and her recipe box has been very inspirational for me!!!!

Yay Paula!

Christy on 6.7.2010

bell’alimento is one of my favorites! So glad you all featured Paula and her wonderful blog.

She’s got great recipes. So far my family has loved everything I’ve attempted of hers.

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Wenderly on 6.7.2010

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

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Erica Lea on 6.7.2010

Nice to meet you, Paula! All of those recipes look fantastic, but I really like the looks of the Fettucine Profumate, the Peas with Pancetta, and the Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Brownies. Wow.

Thank you, Erika, for writing the interview!

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Food for My Family on 6.7.2010

I adore Paula! Not only is she a talented writer and cook, but she is a genuinely true person. True to herself and a true friend.

Amy from She Wears Many Hats (missamy) on 6.7.2010

A trip to Paula’s site shouldn’t be attempted without napkins on hand for the drool. So much yummy stuff!

Jessica @ How Sweet on 6.7.2010

Paula takes the best pictures of food. I leave her site drooling every time!