15 Ways to Spice up your Italian Cooking February 20, 2017

by Trisha Learn

Italian cooking

Italian food has so much more to it that pasta. If you’re cooking meats, risotto, pasta, or fish, here are some tips on how to make them really authentically Italian.

Pasta

Tip: Add salt to your pasta water, to make it more flavoursome

Try our Orecchiette with Herbed Pork, Tenderstem Broccoli, Chilli and Pesto.

Olive Oil

Tip: Drizzle bit of olive oil onto your risotto, pasta sauce or salad at the end. When you’re cooking Italian food, it’s essential to have olive oil, particularly for the final touches.

Lemon

Tip: As well as using lemon to flavour dishes, we’d also suggest trying using lemon in a marinade because the citric acid tenderises the meat while giving it a great flavour.

Try our Prawn and Serrano Linguine

Capers

Tip: Capers are have a unique pickled flavour but they’re very strong considering how small they are. Use sparingly – unless capers are meant to be the central flavour.

Try our James Knight’s Baked Lemon Cod with Capers

Basil

Tip: Combining flavours with these flavours works everytime:  olive oil, garlic, lemon, rosemary and thyme – and of course, tomatoes.

Ricotta

Tip: Try Ricotta with spinach, sage or asparagus

Try our Mushroom, Thyme and Ricotta Linguine

Polenta

Tip: This is corn flour, and it’s got a lovely sweetness to it that wheat flour doesn’t have.

Try our Italian Sausage Stew with Cheesy Polenta

Garlic

Tip: Crush your garlic with the side of your knife before you chop it to release the garlic juices.

Try our Italian Polpetti Soup with Conchiglioni and Fresh Marjoram

Tomatoes

Tip: The key to tomatoes in Italian cooking is that your tomatoes should be ripe, juicy and sweet. Our top tip, is that you

Try our Sicilian Caponata with Herbed Pork and Garlic Ciabatta

Porcini Mushrooms

Tip: If you’re making a mushroom lasagna (great for vegetarians) add some porcini mushrooms into the mix. They’re so flavoursome.

Try our Autumnal Foragers Soup with Porcini Mushrooms and Pearl Barley

Wine

Tip: For best results, wine should be added early in the cooking process and not just before serving so it can simmer with the food, or sauce, to enhance the flavor of the dish. If added late in the preparation, it could impart a harsh quality.

Proscuitto

Tip: This is best raw, so add it after your pizza or pasta has cooked, before serving for the best flavour.

Rosemary

Tip: Rosemary is a really delicious marinade for meats, particularly chicken and lamb. Keep it on the stalks!

Try our Steak Tagliata with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and a Peppercorn Sauce

Anchovies

Tip: To add a subtle, saltiness to tomato based sauces, finely chop your anchovies and stir them into the pot while cooking. It doesn’t add any fishiness, it just gives a nice rich savoury flavours.

Parmesan

Tip: Don’t add too much parmesan, just a little bit. Otherwise all the other flavours will be overwhelmed and masked.

Try our Crispy Chicken Parmigiana Salad

 

Fancy Some More Italian Inspiration?

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1 comment

Hi Trisha,

this 15 Essential Ingredients is very very delicious, i like Parmesan very much

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