Once, I had brunch in NoMad with a small group of friends. We decided to try an Italian restaurant. We literally ordered almost everything on their menu and we loved it! The next day, we came back for dinner. As expected, it was a mouthwatering treat. Right there and then, I had a realization – Italian food is love. It was at that point as well when I started learning how to cook Italian food. I learned some secrets, including those that I will share briefly in the rest of this post!
Simplicity is Key
Italian cuisine is not flashy. Simplicity is one thing that defines their food. In Scarpetta, one of the best Italian restaurants NYC, they serve spaghetti with only three basic ingredients – pasta, tomato, and basil. Meanwhile, for an authentic Italian pizza, they are made only with dough, tomato, and basil. The secret is in the freshness of the tomato.
Use Fresh Ingredients
You have to buy only the freshest ingredients that are available. This will make the dish not only healthy but also flavorful. You should be friends with farmers, butchers, and cheesemakers, among other people who can supply you with the freshest ingredients that are available. Some of the most common ingredients in Italian cooking that you will need include tomatoes, basil, olive oil, cheese, garlic, mushroom, oregano, and capers.
Pair the Right pasta with the Right Sauce
There is an endless list of pasta shapes that are available, as well as the sauces that you can prepare. However, this does not mean that you can choose just any pairing. If you choose the wrong pairing, the sauce may not cling properly to the pasta, which can lead to compromising flavor. For long and skinny pasta, it is best for oil or cream-based sauces. Rich and meaty sauces, on the other hand, will work best for long ribbons. If the pasta is filled, light sauces like oil and butter will be great.
Add Salt to Boiling Pasta Water
Pasta is one of the most popular Italian dishes, which is why many aspiring chefs would want to learn how to cook it perfectly. Salting pasta water is critical because of its many benefits, such as the ability to boost the flavor. As experts recommend, add one tablespoon of salt for every four cups of pasta. It might be a lot, but this is the right way to do it if you want the pasta to be oozing with rich flavor.
Use Wine for Cooking
For most of us, wine is for drinking. For seasoned Italian chefs, however, wine is also for cooking. There are endless ways to incorporate wine on different cheeses to deliver optimal flavor. Pick a wine that has moderate alcohol content. It should not overwhelm the flavors from the other ingredients that you are using.
You do not need to be a seasoned chef to cook Italian dishes like a pro. With the secrets that have been mentioned above, it will be easier to impress family and friends with your cooking!