If you are from New York, there is no need to travel all the way to Italy to have a taste of their food. Even in the Big Apple, you will find an excellent selection of top-notch restaurants. Among others, my favorite Italian restaurant in NYC is Scarpetta. I have been an avid diner since I discovered the place and tried to recreate some of their dishes at home. With this, I have also discovered some of the secrets of Italian cooking, including those that will be briefly mentioned below.
Thou Shall Use Only the Freshest Ingredients
If you want to cook Italian food similar to those that you can eat in the best restaurants in Nomad, you need to use only seasonal and fresh ingredients. If you do not have an herb garden, you can buy fresh produce from the farmer’s market.
Thou Shall not Throw the Pasta Water
After boiling the pasta, use the water for the sauce that you will make. It contains starch from the pasta that will act as a thickener and bind the ingredients in your sauce.
Thou Shall Cook with Wine
Italians love wine, not only for drinking but also for cooking. It adds a unique texture in any dish, especially in pasta sauces.
Thou Shall Not Overcook the Pasta
When it comes to cooking pasta, you should have it undercooked. Once the fire has been turned off, because of the heat, the pasta will continue being cooked.
Thou Shall Tear the Basil
Do not look stupid trying to use a knife when tearing basil leaves. Do it by hand. The metal in the knife will cause the leaves to oxidize. Hence, from green, it will turn to black and will not look appetizing.
Thou Shall not Combine Chicken and Pasta
If you have ever eaten chicken in pasta, for sure, it is not in an authentic Italian restaurant and definitely not anywhere in Italy. While you can be inventive in your cooking, chicken and pasta are two ingredients that they never use together.
Thou Shall Taste the Food
Italians are known for cooking on direct heat and not in ovens. Baking is not their forte. Italian chefs make it a point to taste the food that they are cooking to know what needs to be adjusted.
Thou Shall Not Overdo the Parmesan
While parmesan and other cheeses are popular in Italian cooking, make sure that they are used sparingly so as not to mask the flavor coming from other ingredients.
Thou Shall Use the Right Pan
Cooking with tomatoes is common in Italian dishes. Therefore, the right pan is one that is non-reactive. Otherwise, the tomato will end up having a metallic and bitter taste.
Thou Shall Respect Tradition
Do your research when you are cooking. You cannot claim that it is a traditional Italian dish if you are breaking some of the elements of Italian cooking.
You do not need to be a trained chef or to study Italian cooking traditions to cook the best Italian dishes. With the tips that have been mentioned above, it will be possible for you to prepare mouthwatering meals similar to those that you can enjoy in Italy!