All you need to know to cook up an Italian storm for your guests
The much-vaunted ‘simplicity’ of Italian food is deceptive; it rests on a lot of knowledge, of both ingredients and fundamental cooking principles. An Italians depth of knowledge of food runs deep into their culture and it is treated more as a science or an art, than simply filling up your tummy.
Here’s some top tips so you can live like an Italian.
Grated Paramasan cheese
Italians appreciate Parmesan cheese as both a luxury and an everyday food. Whether you are cooking with it or lightly sprinkling over pasta, do as the Italians do and use Grana Padano. It doesn’t come cheap, but the extra flavour makes it worth every penny.
Choose olive oil selectively
Use a basic, lightly flavoured olive oil for cooking with. When it comes to using olive oil for dressing salads or grilled fish, up the ante and pay more for good quality. Bear in mind that a little will go a long way and the quality makes all the difference.
Fresh tomato sauce
Jars of tomato sauce are a quick and easy option, but it doesn’t have the delicious flavours that a fresh tomato sauce can offer. We recommend making your own; don’t fret, it’s quick and easy. Fry onion and garlic till softened, add in canned chopped tomatoes, cook for 10-15 mins, season with salt and pepper and fresh basil or pinch of dried oregano.
Grow your own
Fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, bay and sage are widely used in the Italian kitchen. Rather than buying small packets, invest in pots of herbs, potting up in good soil and have your own supply to hand on the window sill.