Italian food is one of the most universally loved regional cuisines. From the pizza parlors on every corner in just about every town to more sophisticated Italian restaurants, it’s clear that just about everyone loves Italian cuisine.
If you have a passion for Italian food but have never tried cooking it yourself, don’t be intimidated. While cooking Italian food is certainly an art form, just about anyone can get started on making this delicious cuisine themselves. If you want to get started on cooking Italian cuisine, here are some things you should know.
When It Comes To Italian Food, Fresh Is Best
It is definitely possible to cook Italian food with prepackaged ingredients. However, real Italian chefs all extol the benefits of using fresh ingredients. For example, a store-bought garlic seasoning salt will definitely give your dish the garlicky kick that you’re looking for. But in authentic Italian cuisine, the best choice would always be to buy fresh basil and grate it yourself. The same goes for other flavors popular in Italian dishes, such as basil, thyme and rosemary. While it might be simple to just buy the seasonings, try stepping out of your comfort zone and buying these herbs fresh.
The Right Tools Are Essential
If you’re looking to get into Italian cuisine, now is the time to update your kitchen tools. A set of really sharp knives are essential for cutting meats and the aforementioned herbs and seasonings. Furthermore, a quality nonstick pan will come in handy for cooking poultry, beef and other proteins that you use in your dishes. While it’s possible to make do with dated or worn equipment, quality tools will really help to enhance your dishes and enable you to make the best finished dishes possible.
Explore Online Tutorials and Cookbooks
If you’re looking for Italian recipes, you’re in luck. Since this is absolutely one of the most popular regional cuisines for anyone to make themselves, there’s a plethora of information available online, which includes tons of recipes. Or check out your local bookstore for a whole world of Italian cookbooks and guides.
Explore Cooking Classes
One of the other resources for cooking Italian food is participating in cooking classes such as Italian Comfort Dinner and Pasta Making. Cozymeal is one of the cooking classes marketplaces that has a long list of Italian cooking classes in different cities that can help you in accomplishing the learning mission.
Don’t Forget About Desserts
When we think of Italian food, we typically think of pizza and pasta dishes. However, entrees are just one part of Italian cuisine. Italian desserts are utterly decadent and quite fun to make. Both tiramisu and biscotti are delicious Italian desserts that are relatively simple for novice bakers to make. Once you’ve mastered those, you can try more complex desserts and pastries.
Use A Lot Of Veggies
Pizza parlors might focus on meat and cheese, but authentic Italian cuisine is very vegetable-dense. Mushrooms, broccoli and spinach don’t just add flavor to pasta dishes, but they make them a lot healthier as well. Vegetables are definitely essential in Italian cooking. Try to purchase the most fresh produce popular for a more authentic experience.
Don’t Make Mushy Noodles
One of the most common mistakes people make when making Italian food is cooking their pasta noodles the same way that they would cook their noodles when they make macaroni and cheese. Instead of cooking your noodles until they are completely soft, only boil them until they are chewable but firm. In Italian cuisine, this is called “al dente” noodles. The noodles must retain some of their firmness so that they don’t become mushy when sauce and cheese is added.
Experiment With Protein
We all know about pepperoni on pizza and meatballs made out of ground beef. However, there is so much more to Italian meat dishes than just these old standards. Veal, lamb and even venison are popular choices in Italian cuisine. Step outside of your protein comfort zone and experiment with these more unique meat choices.
Take Your Time With Breads and Doughs
If you’re attempting to make garlic bread or pizza crust from scratch, it can be easy to get frustrated and want to quit. After all, making fresh breads or crusts is an complicated process that involves rolling the dough perfectly while it’s still uncooked. Take your time and do your best to not get frustrated. Follow instructions closely and remember that it might take a few attempts to get it right.
Don’t Forget The Perfect Beverage
An Italian meal isn’t complete without the right beverage option. Of course, a glass of red wine compliments any Italian dish beautifully. If you don’t drink, try making a traditional Italian soda by adding your favorite flavored syrup to a glass of club soda.
It might take a bit of practice for you to become a seasoned Italian chef. However, the process of learning how to cook delicious Italian food is quite fun. Take your time researching new recipes and investigating new ways to prepare great Italian dishes for your friends and family to enjoy.