Italian cuisine is one of the most authentic and traditional that you will find in the food industry. Whether you decide on preparing a simple pasta dish or pizza, you’ll find that these homemade Italian dishes are usually hearty, irresistible and delicious. However, people can only sing their praises when properly prepared, which is one reason you should learn from an Italian catering expert.
Here, you’ll find useful tips on how to become an Italian catering expert, learn the art of making authentic Italian food, and find some traditional Italian recipes you can try afterwards. So, let’s get started!
Tips for Authentic Italian Cooking
Below, you will find simple and magical tips that can help recreate authentic Italian cooking for family and friends at home. This is coming from a catering expert in this kind of food, so you need to always abide by them to make Italian foods like a pro.
Use Fresh and High-quality Ingredients
One of the secrets to making an authentic and tasty Italian dish is to use fresh ingredients. So, rather than buying canned stuff from the grocery store, go to a local farmer’s market in your area to get the ingredients you need.
Italian food is all about the flavor, which makes every ingredient you use count. Get fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish from your local market by yourself. All you need to do is get acquainted with these local farmers, butchers, and fishmongers, and you can always get the best veggies and cuts at a reasonable price.
Master the Basics of Italian Cuisine
The basics of Italian cuisine include incorporating the right amount and type of herbs and spice for specific dishes, using the right cookware, and learning to cook your pasta right.
First, don’t be afraid to use different herbs and spices when cooking an Italian dish because they help to boost flavor. They include rosemary, sage, basil, parsley, garlic, onions, soffritto (combination of diced onions, celery, and carrots sautéed in butter or olive oil).
As usual, you must ensure that they are fresh to get high-quality dishes. Italian cooks taste their food to adjust the seasonings as they cook, so you can do the same rather than being rigid about the amount of spice you add. As long as you master the flavor profile, you are on your way to becoming one heck of an Italian cook.
Second, cook your pasta right by using the right amount of water, salt, and cookware. Usually, pasta is the base of the dish, so it is necessary to get it right before you can proudly call yourself an Italian cook expert.
Lastly, the right cookware can make or mar a dish. Rather than a non-stick pan, use stainless steel or ceramic-lined stainless pots to get that tasty caramelization for your dish. Also, use earthenware pots that distribute heat evenly for slow cooking dishes, a sauté pan for braising meats and veggies, and a large cylindrical pot for pasta.
Pay Attention to the Presentation of Dishes
A beautifully presented dish attracts people. So, note that the taste of your dish won’t count if it isn’t visually beautiful. This is because people won’t want to try it out since they will assume that it is not worth their time. The same time you put into making tasty Italian meals, accord the same to making the plating instagram-worthy.
Popular Italian Recipes
If you are interested in trying some popular Italian recipes that cut across classic dishes, regional specialties, and desserts, you are at the right place. Below are some of them.
- 2 large eggs and 2 large yolks, room temperature
- 1 ounce (about ⅓ packed cup) grated pecorino Romano, plus additional for serving
- 1 ounce (about ⅓ packed cup) grated Parmesan
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3½ ounces of slab guanciale (see recipe), pancetta or bacon, sliced into pieces about ¼ inch thick by ⅓ inch square
- 12 ounces spaghetti (about ¾ box)
- Step 1: Put a large pot of lightly salted water (no more than 1 tablespoon salt) over high heat, and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with hot water for serving, and place aside.
- Step 2: Mix the eggs, yolks, pecorino, and Parmesan in a mixing bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and the right amount of black pepper as you deem fit.
- Step 3: Set the water to boil. Then, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the pork, and sauté until the fat renders on the edge of crispness but not hard. Remove from heat and put aside.
- Step 4: Add pasta to the water and boil until a bit firmer than al dente. Just before pasta is ready, reheat the guanciale, if necessary. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta and add to the skillet over low heat. Stir for about a minute or more if you prefer.
- Step 5: Pour out the hot water from the serving bowl, dry it and add the hot pasta mixture. Stir in cheese mixture, adding some reserved pasta water if needed for creaminess. Serve immediately, dressing it with grated pecorino and pepper.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (up to 1/4 teaspoon, depending on how spicy you like it)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale (about 10 ounces), stems and tough center ribs removed, leaves chopped
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 Parmesan rind
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cubed day-old or stale bread
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Step 1: Warm the oil over medium heat in a large wide pot or dutch oven and add the onion, carrot, red pepper flakes, garlic, and celery. Stir frequently for about eight minutes until they are softened a bit, then season with salt and black pepper.
- Step 2: Then, add tomato paste and cook while occasionally stirring for about two minutes until fragrant. Next, stir in the kale and cook while stirring for about four minutes until it begins to wilt. Add the diced tomatoes, stock, thyme, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind, and bring to a simmer.
- Step 3: Put about one-quarter of the beans in a small bowl and add tablespoons of cooking liquid before mashing together with a fork to form a paste. Add the paste and the remaining whole beans to the soup and stir well. Cook the soup with the lid slightly open for about twenty-five minutes until the veggies become a bit soft but still al dente. Then, put the bread and simmer while partially ajar for about seven minutes until it begins to dissolve and further thickens the soup.
- Step 5: Remove the Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and thyme before serving. You can then season with salt and black pepper. Plate the ribollita into bowls with a drizzle of oil and the Parmesan.
- Heavy Whipped cream
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Cocoa powder
- Liqueur (optional)
- Step 1: Make the creamy filling by beating mascarpone, cream, sugar, and vanilla together until stiff peaks.
- Step 2: Pour the expresso and liqueur into a shallow bowl. Then, give the lady fingers a quick dip on both sides. Don’t let them soak.
- Step 3: Smooth a layer of the mascarpone/whipped cream mixture on the top of the lady fingers.
- Step 4: Repeat the process by adding another layer of ladyfingers that has been quickly dipped in coffee and liqueur and the mascarpone/whipped cream mixture.
- Step 5: Once you are satisfied with the amount of layers you have, your tiramisu is ready. Just dust with cocoa powder before serving.
At Viga Catering, we’ve always got your back if you are unable to stand the heat in the kitchen. You can always hire us to cater Italian dishes of your choice for your event or book to consult our opinion on some menu you might be considering. For more information, please call us today at 617-482-1112.