- Learning How To Cook Like An Italian
Learning How To Cook Like An Italian
The first thing you will have to do before you can cook like an Italian is to become one. Fine, that’s not possible. Okay, try to say a few Italian words, maybe not. Think of Italian food like pasta or pizza. You’re not wrong, but that’s not right either. So, how do you really learn to cook like an Italian? Hopefully, this post will show you how.
Learning a cuisine that you are not familiar with can be troublesome at first, but it will get better with practice. Understanding a new cuisine is like learning a new language. You have to focus on the vocabulary and grammar which allows you to form a simple sentence. With a new cuisine, there are many techniques that you will need to know, as your knowledge and techniques improve, bit by bit, you will find that you are able to make better dishes.
Books are a great way to increase your knowledge but can be dauting because there is just too much information that will overload your brain. This post will act as a road map to guide you. That way you will have a good base. This article won’t teach you everything but it will at least get you started.
Explore Tomato Sauces
If you really want to know how to cook like an Italian, explore tomato sauces. They are simple to make and better with good ingredients. Here is an easy recipe to get you on your way.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Parmesano Reggiano cheese, grated
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon chopped mint, divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cans of whole tomatoes (28-ounce)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped, divided
- 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- oregano, ½ teaspoon, dried
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- To start, transfer your canned tomatoes to a bowl then use your hands to crush them. Try to rip them into chunks.
- Set a large pot on the stove with your olive oil (do not turn on the stove as yet). Add in your pepper, salt, sugar, a half of your mint, basil, one third of your oregano, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Switch your burner on then allow to come to a boil slowly. When the garlic and onions become fragrant, stir, then continue to cook for five more minutes.
- Switch the heat off. Then add a heat diffuser on top of your burner. Return the pot to the stove, on top of the heat diffuser then add in your tomatoes. Switch to medium heat then stir until it returns to a rolling boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, partially covered, and cook like this for another 90 minutes.
- After the time elapses, switch off the heat and add in the Parmesan cheese and remaining herbs. Add in your butter to solidify the flavor. Stir to fully combine then serve.
Interesting Ways To Prove You Can Cook Like An Italian
Less Is Definitely More
In most Italian dishes, you won’t find an abundance of elements, seasonings or spices. So, keeping it simple allows the fresh ingredients to speak for themselves.
Quality Is The Key To All Things
Skimming on ingredients means that you will be missing out on what it means to be a true Italian cook. Your ingredients should be organic and fresh. So, try to get your ingredients from your nearest farmer’s market. Don’t buy your sliced meats, condiments, or loaves of bread at a regular supermarket. Instead opt for purchasing Bresaola, Balsamic, etc. from an authentic Italian market.
Know The Ingredients Like The Middle Of Your Hand
Whether you are a professional or home cook, it’s good to befriend the staff from your local Italian Deli stores or farmers markets. That way, you’ll get their expertise on ingredients as well as some information on the new arrival of fresh ingredients. It’s always good to know where your products came from and how it was grown.
Make Al Dente Your Best Friend
Professional chefs and general Italians alike serve their pasta al dente. This simply means that the pasta is firm and just a bit undercooked. To ensure that your spaghetti is al dente, taste the spaghetti a few minutes earlier than the time that your pasta instructions state that it’s going to be ready.
Own A Variety Of Oil
Believe it or not, olive oil comes in a wide variety. All of which can be used in different cooking aspects. So, it can be challenging to decide which one to use when preparing a meal. You can use a basic or a mild oil to cook with. To add a dash of pizazz to your Italian dishes, consider adding a splash of 100% extra virgin olive oil. Be sure to select brands that state that they were created from the first pressing. These oils are typically more peppery and a stronger oil. When storing, keep it locked away from direct light. Extended exposure to direct light can cause your olive oil to lose nutritional value and flavor.
Put Your Heart In It
Italian cooking is essentially comfort food. Each meal is made with love and heart, often prepared by communities for loved ones and families. Food in these communities tends to carry a focus on nourishment for the soul and intuition as well as quality of taste. So, when you get in the kitchen be sure to prepare your meals with confidence, creativity, and personality.
I hope this helps you to gain knowledge not only in Italian cooking but in other cuisines as well. Italian cooking places a huge emphasis on the quality of there ingredients. So, to learn how to cook like an Italian, try to always seek fresh ingredients that are in season, and available for the best prices.