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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3
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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
31k 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 ...
16
votes
10answers
24k 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
107 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
5k 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
49k 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
439 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

What can I substitute for Guanciale?

Guanciale is something I've never seen in the UK what can I use as a substitute? ..Or alternatively is there somewhere I can source this in the UK? Note: I'm thinking of experimenting with a ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
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
6k 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
6k 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
440 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
444 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

When making risotto, why fry the rice?

When making risotto one of the first steps is to saute the rice in some oil for a few minutes (or until the rice is translucent). What is happening when the rice is fried? What effect does this ...
19
votes
9answers
11k 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
5k 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
275 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
287 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
196 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
76k views

What is the best substitute for Provolone?

Having recently bought the Frankies Spuntino Cookbook I want to have a go at making braciola. The recipe calls for pork steaks to be stuffed with pecorino romano and provolone. However, in the UK ...
0
votes
3answers
19k 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
9k 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
15k 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
69k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
143 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
262 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
329 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

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

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
382 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?
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Scaling up a risotto recipe x4. Things to consider?

I am making risotto for a Christmas dinner, serving 20 people. I plan to multiple the recipe by 3 or 4x. Since risotto is a challenging dish at the normal scale, how can I ensure getting good results ...
1
vote
3answers
13k views

How long will Tiramisú made with raw egg keep?

TiramisĂș tastes better the longer is kept. But it is made with raw eggs, so there must be a limit to how long you can keep it for without risking making people ill. What would you say is the min/max ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Gnocchi - best fluffy technique

What is the best way to ensure prepared gnocchi is light and fluffy, not lumpy and soggy? I've seen tips saying to use more flour, to use less, to add ricotta cheese, to air dry...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

What side dish should I have with saltimbocca?

What is traditionally the side dish you eat with saltimbocca a la romana?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

how to get a ciabatta with a more uniform shape

My ciabattas tend to have be domed along both axis. So towards the ends they are too thin, and near the middle I end up making them are thicker than I want. I think this is because the dough has so ...
2
votes
2answers
13k views

Types of potato for making gnocchi

I've made gnocchi with different types of potato with mixed result. Can anyone recommend a type that is particularly good for making gnocchi?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the ratio for soft polenta?

I want to cook a soft polenta. I would like the consistency to be like pudding - just firm enough to hold a shape (it doesn't flow out of the spoon if you take a heaped spoonful), but not firm enough ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between grits and polenta?

I've eaten both and except for the fact that sometimes polenta is a little bit more firm, they taste the same...Any southerners out there that can help?
2
votes
1answer
332 views

How to get those professional looking peaks on top of tiramisu?

Most tiramisu-recipes end with the last layer of mascarpone mixture spread on the last layer of lady fingers/sponge cake (and some chocolate powder on top). So you have a flat surface. I've seen ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How to layer a Lasagne

I have a made a number of meat lasagne's that taste great (IMHO) but I have always had a problem getting them to preserve that "layered" effect. When it is cooked and even partially cooled the first ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

100% Rye Pizza Base Recipes?

I'm looking for a 100% rye pizza base recipe. The recipes I can find all combine the rye with other flours (typically wheat based). I know it is possible to create 100% rye based pizza bases as I know ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I get Italian meringue to thicken?

I tried to make italian meringue and it was all going well until the meringue, (with the sugar syrup added), just didn't thicken and turned into 'royal icing'. Next time, how do I make it and what can ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Couldn't make pesto in a blender

I was making pesto one day and couldn't find the lid to my food processor. So first I tried mixing it all in a blender. Didn't work, the leaves wouldn't go down to meet the blade. I had this pastey ...