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Basics Of Italian Cooking

Italian cooking can be a great way to enjoy food, if the individual knows how to prepare it. Here are some tips and techniques for how to do Italian cooking.

Having the key ingredients is what makes Italian cooking what it is. Olive oil is an essential to complete cooking. Not only is it used as a cooking oil, it is also used to flavor dishes. This is why extra virgin olive oil is recommended. Tomatoes are a key ingredient. When available use fresh tomatoes over canned ones. However canned can be used, whole peeled tomatoes are preferred over crushed or chopped. Garlic is used sparingly to lightly flavor dishes. Use pasta imported from Italy. It is the best. For egg pastas use homemade or buy dried in nest form. Finding the proper rice for risottos is essential. Arborio is recommended although Carnaroli or Vialone Nano can also be used. These rices are what give risotto their creamy texture. Dried porcini mushrooms are also essential. This ingredient is great in pastas, risottos, sauces, and stews because of their flavor. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is essential because of its impeccable flavor. This cheese can be grated or served on the table as a hard cheese.

Knowing how to cooking pasta is what makes Italian cooking. Follow the directions on the package. Always make sure the pasta is cooking in enough water. Four quarts is recommended for eight ounces of pasta. Cover the pot and bring water to full boil before adding pasta. Leave the pot uncovered while cooking, and use a pasta fork to stir the pasta. Start testing the pasta for doneness a few minutes before the recommended time. Individuals are looking for only a speck of white to be left in the center of the pasta. Drain the pasta. Do not rinse. Return pasta to warm pot or skillet with sauce in it. Adding salt to the water for pasta 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 stove. Individuals want to brown meat in olive oil or butter with wine. Loosen scrapings from pan. As alcohol evaporates, lower heat on the pan and simmer meat until tender.

Italian cooking comes in several courses. The first course is usually a soup, pasta, or risotto. The second course is a meat, like chicken or fish, with a vegetable and followed by a salad. The dessert course is usually a fruit, although once in a while a sweet treat is offered.