Do you often find yourself craving some delicious Italian food when binge-watching your favorite TV show? Do you dream of relishing that cheesy bowl of pasta on a pleasant evening in Tuscany?
From the perfect al dente pasta to hearty and delicious ribollita, Italian food is undoubtedly one of the most popular cuisines in the world. Italian dishes are satisfying, bold, and rich in texture and flavorful palettes. Beyond the exquisite taste and quality, one cannot outcompete the assortment of bread, pasta, cheeses, wines, and many other delicacies that Italy has to offer.
Italian food makes for a great entry into the cooking world as so many of the classic Italian dishes are simple to make. But how can you master the essence of Italian cuisine when you didn’t grow up in Italy?
If you want to learn how to cook Italian food for yourself, you can easily recreate the exquisite flavors of your favorite dishes with these handy guidelines and tips.
Start from The Scratch
The secret to classic and authentic Italian cuisine is the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. The reason why you are probably struggling to recreate the flavors of pasta from your favorite Italian eatery is that you are using a packaged store-bought ravioli for your meal. The best way to learn basic cooking and to master the authentic Italian flavors is to learn how to cook from scratch.
Being able to cook using the very basic form of ingredients is incredibly empowering. It offers you so much liberty as a dedicated chef to decide on the precise flavors you want to use in your dish. Other than the exquisite taste and quality assurance, it is also better for your health as you know what you are eating.
Use Fresh Ingredients for Best Italian Dinner Recipes
Considering that Italian food is relatively simple, its success is primarily based on using flavorful and fresh key ingredients. Italian cuisine is all about enhancing the taste and flavors of good-quality ingredients involved. In Italy, it is a standard practice to visit the local farmers’ market to pick up fresh seasonal produce.
For quick and easy preparation of the best healthy Italian recipes, try to be resourceful and learn to make the most out of the ingredients available at the particular time of the year. The hunt for authentic, high-quality ingredients is what makes Italian cooking challenging yet satisfying.
Learn to Cook Italian Food with Herbs
Whether it is the signature flavor of garlic in the marinara sauce or your favorite sweet basil pizza topping, herbs and spices are an integral part of Italian cuisine. They add flavors and can also provide health benefits when used correctly. Many popular aromatic herbs are native to the Italian countryside, but you don’t have to travel up to Italy to collect these herbs for your kitchen endeavors.
You can take your Italian culinary experience up a notch by using freshly-harvested herbs for the best Italian dressing recipe ever. Many of these herbs can be grown in pots by your windowsill all around the year. Fresh herbs provide a more enriched flavor which means that you don’t have to overdo with salt or fat in your meal.
Some of the most commonly used herbs to create an authentic Italian flavor are oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, parsley, sage, and bay leaves.
Understand the Aromatics of Italian Cuisine
Aromatics are essentially the ingredients that bring out a characteristic aroma or flavor of a dish of the best Italian dinner recipes. Onions are one of these food items. In Italian cooking, we use white onions that have a subtle flavor as opposed to the richly aromatic and bold tasting red onions which are often added in salads. Many Italian recipes start by sautéing onions in olive oil. It is an essential step that brings out that classic aroma and builds flavor.
Follow the best recipes to learn how to cook to create Italian food with perfect seasoning and flavors. Another frequently used ingredient is garlic. A useful tip is to use a Microplane to mince garlic for a more enriched garlicky flavor in your food.
Use the Right Type of Olive Oil
Your regular cooking oil will not be able to level up with the quality of classic Italian food. When you learn to cook Italian online, you want to use the best-quality olive oil for your cuisine. But olive oil is not exactly a one-size-fits-all ingredient. There are many variations and to make your food turn out good you want to use the type that goes well with your specific dish.
Extra-virgin olive oil is made from pressing olives and is rich in flavors. With an acidity of 1%, it is best for salad dressings. Virgin olive oil is typically used for cooking, especially for baking and sauteing. There is also refined oil olive that has a lower acidity level and is mostly used for cooking purposes.
Taste the Food Along the Way
The best way to learn Italian cooking is to practice the art of seasoning and flavoring your food to your particular preference. Italian food is mostly cooked on a stove with direct heat as opposed to an oven. A crucial technique that Italians use in cooking is that they taste their food while cooking as they add more spices or seasonings.
Even a hint of chili or vinegar can alter the flavor of the food, which is why you have to taste and adjust along the way. The traditional Italian flavors created as a result are, therefore, a product of love and passion. The beauty of cooking is that, as compared to baking, you have more room for some creativity without having to worry so much about precision.
Other than the fact that cooking is an important life skill, it is always a great idea to explore interests and hobbies for continuous growth. Learning Italian cuisine is all about understanding the basic cooking rules and practicing to master the foundation of a traditional Italian meal. Getting enrolled in Italian cooking classes can teach you how to create some authentic and exquisitely flavored Italian staples.