Real Housewife of New Jersey Teresa Giudice promises delicious—and healthy—Italian recipes in her new book, Skinny Italian. Over coffee at a New Jersey restaurant (Giudice takes hers with half-and-half and two spoons of sugar), she revealed a few secrets to eating well and looking hot.
How did you learn to cook?
Growing up I used to always watch my mom cook. And when I first got married, I wanted to impress my husband. I wanted to make gourmet food for him. So I bought all these cookbooks. But they had so many ingredients. And I was like, oh, my god, all these weird spices that sometimes didn't taste good afterwards. So I started calling my mom every night. And I'd be like, Ma, I want to make this. And she would tell me over the phone how to do it. The more you do it, the better you get at it. It's like being a mom. And the thing is, with cooking, you do it with love. It comes from your heart.
Your mom's probably going to be pretty excited when she sees your book.
I think it hasn't hit her yet, you know? I think maybe once it starts selling, and she starts seeing me out there. Costco is going to carry it, and they go to Costco. My parents don't really go to bookstores. They're off-the-boat Italian. But if they go to Costco and see it there, I think they'll get excited.
When you go out, do you always go to Italian restaurants?
Pretty much. My husband loves Italian food. I love Chinese food. He'll make me happy once in a blue moon, and we'll go to a Chinese restaurant. But I have to say, mostly Italian.
What do you typically order?
Fish. I don't order pasta too much even though I love pasta. But I like to get fish. I like halibut. I used to like tilapia. But then I heard they eat everything on the bottom. So now I'm like, I'm not ordering tilapia anymore.
What's one of the keys to being a skinny Italian?
If you go to Italy, everyone's skinny. They're all fit. And they live a long life. The food there—everything's fresh. Over here, everything's processed. And all the antibiotics they put into all the food. It's different here. But you can still go to the farmers' market and get all fresh vegetables.
Since the last season, you've opened a restaurant/pizzeria, launched a Web site where you sell clothing and jewelry, and now you've written a book. Got anything else in the pipeline?
As a matter of fact, we talk about bellinis on the whole [second season of the] show. I love bellinis. So I want to try to bottle my own bellinis. I'm starting to look into it. You know, they're good for you. It's prosecco wine and then peach nectar, which is not fattening.