The Basics Of Italian Cooking

If you know how to prepare Italian cooking, it can be a great way to enjoy food. Here we have some tips and techniques for how to do Italian cooking.
Having the proper ingredients is the key to what makes Italian cooking what it is. Olive oil is an essential to Italian cooking. Not only is it used as a cooking oil, it is also used to flavor dishes. Extra virgin olive oil is recommended. Tomatoes are another key ingredient. When available you should use fresh tomatoes over canned ones. However canned tomatoes can be used. When using canned tomatoes the whole peeled tomatoes are preferred over crushed or chopped. Garlic is used, but use it sparingly to lightly flavor dishes. Pasta imported from Italy is the best for your Italian dishes. If your recipe calls for egg pastas, then use homemade egg pasta or buy it dried in nest form. When making risottos finding the proper rice for it is essential. Arborio is recommended although Carnaroli or Vialone Nano can also be used. These types of rice are what give risotto their creamy texture. Dried porcini mushrooms are also essential in Italian cooking. This ingredient is great in pastas, risottos, sauces, and stews because of their terrific flavor. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is another essential ingredient because of its impeccable flavor. This cheese can be grated or served on the table as a hard cheese.
Knowing how to cook pasta is what makes great Italian cooking. Be sure to follow the directions on the package. Always make sure the pasta is cooked in enough water. It is recommended that you use four quarts of water for eight ounces of pasta. Cover the pot and bring water to full boil before adding pasta. You can leave the pot uncovered while cooking the pasta, and only use a pasta fork to stir the pasta. Start testing the pasta for doneness a few minutes before the recommended time to avoid overcooking. It is done when there is only a speck of white left in the center of the pasta. Drain the pasta, but do NOT rinse. Return the pasta to a warm pot or skillet with sauce in it. You can add salt to the water for pasta if you would like. Salt does add flavor. However if pasta is being paired with sauce it is not necessary to add salt.
Italian cooking of meats is done over the pressure cooker. Brown the meat in olive oil or butter with wine. Loosen scrapings from pan. If using wine remember that alcohol evaporates so lower heat on the pan and simmer meat until tender.
A great Italian meal comes in several courses. The first course is usually a soup, pasta, or risotto. The second course is a meat. The meat can be chicken or fish and is served with a vegetable and followed by a salad. The dessert course is usually a fruit. Once in a while a sweet treat is offered. These tips will help you make a delicious Italian cooked meal.