Janet Zappala debuts cookbook, plans PBS show

Many know Janet Zappala from her years on local TV, but only her family and friends know about her passion for cooking. This week Zappala releases "My Italian Kitchen: Home-Style Recipes Made Lighter and Healthier," her first cookbook, through Addicus Books. Zappala, a nutritionist, includes nutritional info on each recipe.

She is also trying to combine her two loves of food and television. She's in discussions for a national PBS cooking/travel/lifestyle show to be co-hosted by PBS chef Tommy Tang. Since Zappala's late mother, Mary, taught her how to cook, it was no surprise that she chose Mom's Marinara Sauce with Meatballs when we asked for her favorite recipe in the book. "I come from a long line of Italian women who were all great cooks," said Zappala.

Her children, Brad, 22, and Natalya, 12, love to eat her food but haven't shown an interest in cooking. Zappala and husband, Steve Brody, have a good arrangement. "I cook and he cleans afterward," she says.

Click here to read the rest of our column in Tuesday's Daily News.