Questions with this tag should be about traditional ingredients, preparations or dishes from Italy - such as focaccia, risotto or tiramisu. Questions about ingredients common to Italian style cooking, but which aren't about a specific Italian dish, should not use this tag.

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9answers
2k views

secret ingredient in a restaurant bolognese

I have dabbled with almost every ingredient I can think of in varying amount to get my Bolognese to taste similar to a restaurant made Bolognese in the italian alps. Including: Pepper Sugar Salt ...
6
votes
3answers
828 views

What are “fondi di carciofo” called in English?

I would like to know what the English name is for the Italian word fondo di carciofo as I was not able to find it on the Internet. Basically, carciofo means artichoke and fondo means the bottom part (...
3
votes
2answers
39k views

What kind of herbs are common in Italian dishes?

Yesterday I tried to follow a pasta recipe that called for tarragon. Since I didn't have this herb, I sustituted basil. For convenience, I may try to plant those commonly needed herbs myself so I ...
12
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6answers
4k views

A question about browning meat for spaghetti bolognese

I've been told in one form or another: "no colour, no flavour", so when cooking Spaghetti Bolognese I always brown the meat (after chucking in the onions, carrots, celery etc.). The browning does ...
26
votes
7answers
33k views

How do cooks prepare risotto in a restaurant?

I'm not looking for a Risotto recipe. I make a pretty nice risotto, thank you very much. But, making a risotto takes about 20 minutes. It seems unreasonable to me that a cook would start from ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Is my ragu missing an ingredient?

I'm following a recipe for a pork rib ragu that calls for one onion, 2 carrots and one stick of celery along with 500ml of stock. It suggests that I let this simmer for 2-3 hours. When I return to ...
2
votes
3answers
86 views

What are the options for sweetening?

This question relates to a tomato based sauce, but I imagine it applies to all dishes. I recently made meatballs in a tomato sauce; typically, I find that any tomato sauce is too bitter. I found a ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Counter to bitterness in soup

My minestrone turned out too bitter. How can I counter it? The soup contains tomatoes, pasta, Savoy cabbage, celery, carrots, burnt sautéed garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Sugar seems to be ...
1
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3answers
407 views

How am I supposed to heat a pie-iron-style pizzelle iron?

I found an old pizzelle iron in one of my cabinets. It looks like this: Most of the pizzelle recipes I found — for example this one — are for a "George Foreman"-style pizzelle iron, and are self ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

Mascarpone and Almond pasta Sauce?

While in Italy I had a pasta sauce that was made with mascarpone and almonds (the almonds were ground fine) it had the look of Alfredo sauce. I cannot recall the name of the sauce. I have searched far ...
1
vote
1answer
641 views

My ciabatta dough hasn't risen after 2 hours!

I mixed my ciabatta dough 2 hours ago, and it's barely risen at all. I put it in a greased plastic container in the hot water cupboard, and marked the level to know when it "tripled in volume". The ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How did Cardinal Mazarin give name to a Swedish cake?

Mazarin is a classic Swedish pastry, well known in neighbouring countries as well in lots of variations. It seems that - as one with a bit of historic background may guess - it is of French origin. ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Are 'sweet' and 'mild' - Italian Sausage - the same thing?

Do they refer to the same kind? Or is there a subtle difference? And what essentially encapsulates the concept of a sausage being sweet? Is it typical sucrose driven sweetness inherent to the product....
6
votes
3answers
10k views

what makes red tomato sauce turn orange in colour?

I have noticed that tomato sauce (having started with deep red tomatoes) can turn orange. The colour change isn't from mixing in an ingredient of different colour such as cream. It seems to occur in ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Why do you stir italian sauce all day

Its mentioned in Goodfellas so this is obviously a thing among Italian families and their cooking. Do you stir to prevent it from sticking? Why cook the sauce for so long?
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3answers
2k views

traditional italian pasta: with or without eggs?

I read that in the north of Italy they would use eggs in their recipes (the recipe to make the pasta itself). Is it an actual tradition or is it just a recent trend? I always thought that the pasta ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a technique to freeze gnocchi so they maintain their consistency?

I've made gnocchi, let them dry for 2 hours over the counter, place them in a plastic container with extra flour inside the freezer. Two days later I take them out of the freezer. After an hour the ...
4
votes
7answers
35k views

How to thicken marinara sauce?

Here's what I'm using: 16oz crushed tomatoes 1 head of garlic 1/2 cup red wine Parmesan cheese Basil Oregano Salt 1/4 cup olive oil I start by lightly cooking the garlic cloves in olive oil until ...
17
votes
10answers
27k views

What can be used as a substitute for tomato sauce in typical italian dishes?

I have a friend that has developed an allergy or sensitivity of some kind to tomato sauce in foods. She has been craving pizza, pasta, and lasagna for a while now and I've been searching for a way to ...
6
votes
1answer
108 views

Can polenta be baked?

I've heard that good polenta can be made in the oven, without the stirring. Has anyone else heard of this? Does anyone know how to?
19
votes
6answers
6k views

What is this Italian Cookie called?

I'm looking for a recipe for an Italian cookie that I remember having as a child. The cookie is shaped like a gnocchi or cavatelli but is much bigger, about 1.5 inches long and slightly larger than a ...
6
votes
3answers
59k views

When to add fresh basil to a tomato sauce?

Is it better to add fresh basil to a tomato sauce and then let it cook for say, 10 mins, or wait till the end and add just before serving?
2
votes
1answer
471 views

Is there pattern to stack lasagna?

I've been cooking lasagna at least twice a week, but I still haven't been able to come up with a flavor that makes me "happy". Is there a particular way to stack lasagna for full flavor? Say: first ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Kale vs Spinach in Zuppa Toscana lasting

I know that kale is the original recipe, but I've always liked spinach better. I think it has a nice sour kick to it. The problem is that spinach gets soggy much faster and quickly loses its texture. ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Spaghetti sauce consistency / coating noodles

I made my home made spaghetti sauce this weekend, which I've been making for several years. As always, the flavor turned out great, so I don't want to change my recipe too much. However, I do have ...
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4answers
2k views

How to create thick, hearty garlic marinara sauce?

I've been searching online for a recipe for a robust garlic marinara sauce to no avail. Does anyone have any tips on how to make this kind of thick, hearty sauce from scratch? This is what I've tried ...
8
votes
9answers
7k views

Are there any techniques to “cheat” at cooking a risotto?

Cooking a risotto takes a fair amount of attention and work, adding stock a ladle at a time with almost constant stirring. The chemical process behind this makes sense to me. Are there any ways to ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Looking for an Italian cheese similar/identical to the French Brie

I am looking for a an Italian cheese that I can use as substitute to Brie. It should have the same consistency and creaminess, as well as delicate flavour. Any suggestion? EDIT: This question could ...
2
votes
2answers
507 views

What accounts for the softer texture and sharper flavor of Italian ice creams?

I know that Italian ice cream (home made, most of all) doesn't use any stabilizers or gum ingredients. How can they be made soft, and agreeable to taste?
7
votes
4answers
492 views

How should I incorporate oil into focaccia?

Last weekend, I tried making focaccia for the first time. I tried two recipes at once, the one from The Bread Baker's Apprentice and a traditional Genovese focaccia recipe modified for quick-rise (I ...
22
votes
9answers
13k views

Fish and cheese: An unbreakable rule?

I always wondered about this seemingly static rule: Never add cheese (especially, but not limited to parmigiano reggiano) to a dish with fish. Italians would never, ever add parmigiano ...
7
votes
6answers
6k views

Ingredients or techniques to a more solid lasagna

What are the crucial ingredients or cooking techniques to a more solid, or "brick" like lasagna? Most lasagna I've seen tends to get a bit sloppy in the pan as it's being dished out but I have seen ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What are techniques to make homemade pasta without a pasta machine?

I would like to try making homemade pasta, but my significant other won't let me buy a pasta machine. It's understandable, they are expensive. What are good techniques to make homemade pasta without a ...
1
vote
1answer
296 views

What dishes are paired with agnolini in Mantuan cuisine?

I am preparing agnolini alla mantovana and I would like to pair the dish with a second course and side in classic Mantuan style. source Mantuan cuisine is famous for its "set meals". What are the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the ideal coffee temperature for tiramisu?

When making tiramisu, I usually make a fresh batch of strong coffee. I just don't know how long to wait to use the coffee (for dipping the cookies). In my opinion, room temperature coffee tastes ...
4
votes
1answer
316 views

What is the name of this Venetian pastry?

I was recently in Venice and relaxed my vegan lifestyle to enjoy a local pastry. It was green, pistachio flavored and filled with almonds. It looked something like this (mine did not have chocolate): ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

What is the name for a round flaky pastry that has a chocolate cream filling in the middle

I'm trying to make a dessert I had in Palermo, Sicily. I wanted to find a recipe for it online, but I can't remember the name of it now. I know it's fairly common, but googling didn't help. It's ...
4
votes
3answers
201 views

Is “swimming in broth” a common cooking technique for pasta and broccoli rabe?

In two "old school" Italian restaurants in New York, USA, I've ordered penne with sausage and broccoli rabe. Both times the pasta was served with a good 1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid in the bottom of the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a difference between coca, focaccia and pizza?

I've made a number of pizza's and coca's lately and I thought about making a focaccia... When reading about coca, focaccia was mentioned, and when reading about focaccia, pizza was mentioned. I have ...
0
votes
3answers
22k views

Can I store raw gnocchi dough in the fridge?

I made gnocchi dough earlier this evening. It was my first time, so I took a bit of dough and made myself some dinner with it. It was great. But I still have some dough left over. Since it's quite ...
12
votes
8answers
10k views

Non-cow's milk replacement for Parmesan cheese in Genovese pesto

My family loves Genovese pesto and we'd started making our own (with varied success). One of our number has been diagnosed as intolerant to cow's milk. This rules out pretty much all shop-bought ...
29
votes
11answers
4k views

How should I prepare Risotto

I've been watching a lot of Hells Kitchen, and one of the signature dishes that Chef Ramsay has the chefs prepare is Risotto. This seems like a simple enough dish but often times the seasoned chefs ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How to make - succulent - Bruschetta?

What ingredients do you need, and what steps to perform to make Bruschetta? While on honeymoon in Tuscany we got bruschetta with chopped tomato and herb topping, on crusty bread (I think there was ...
11
votes
11answers
16k views

What vegetarian substitute for prosciutto could I use in Carbonara?

Instead of prosciutto, I used capers to try and maintain the salty aspect. It worked ok, but something about the capers and cheese didn't seem right. Any other suggestions? Also, to round out the ...
7
votes
8answers
78k views

Can I replace pine nuts with other nuts in a pesto sauce recipe? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a good pine nut substitute for pesto? Pine nuts are very expensive here. I'm wondering if I can substitute any of the following: Walnuts Sunflower seeds Almonds ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

How to make a pesto in a mortar?

When using an immersion blender, I throw all ingredients into the cup and puree everything smooth. But it looks like the mortar isn't that easy. I can think of four different techniques: throw in ...
2
votes
3answers
271 views

Preparing Salsa Verde fast and fresh

I want to make batches of Salsa Verde* fast and fresh, 8 to 12 serves at a time It normally requires a large amount of knife work to get everything finely chopped and crushed. How can I speed up this ...
1
vote
2answers
340 views

What factors do I need to consider to figure out if a particular set of toppings will work well on risotto?

Sometimes, I like to experiment with the ingredients to use as toppings for risotto. In order to avoid bad results, what should I consider when I choose the ingredients to use as toppings for risotto?...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

What ingredients can be added to pasta to give a different color? [closed]

I've experimented with fresh pasta, using the following ingredients to color it: Beetroot puree Carrot puree Cocoa powder The first two were successful, the cocoa poweder resulted in a very ...
1
vote
1answer
404 views

Why is my first polenta not easy to cut?

I've cooked my first polenta. it was too dampish, without shape, but also not easily sectile: it couldnt be easily cut. What should I do better next time?