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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
5answers
2k views

Cooking chicken in a risotto without it drying out

I was following a recipe for a chicken risotto, which said to brown the chicken (breast meat, cut into small pieces, maybe 3/4 of an inch or so) in the pan after browning the onions, and then add the ...
4
votes
7answers
34k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
18k views

What should I do with a just-baked lasanga?

I'm a complete cooking newbie. I just made a lasanga from a recipe - or something that looks like a lasanga. However, it will probably only be eaten 3-4 hours from now. What should I do with it in the ...
4
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
200 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
5answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

How to add more toppings to frozen pizza?

I generally buy frozen Pizza Margherita in store for making a quick lunch if I am running out of time. However, I don't really like the taste of the baked Pizza because it is just Tomato and Cheese. I ...
4
votes
3answers
93k 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 ...
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
1answer
312 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): ...
4
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
395 views

Doubling ingredients on panettone cake

The recipe below makes a small panettone cake. I would like to make a cake twice the size, is it ok to just double all the ingredients? Yeast 1⁄2 tsp Strong White Flour 300 g (11 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
475 views

What is the most common mozzarella used in Italian pizza

That's a curiosity I have after visiting Italy. I ate pizza all the time but I couldn't differentiate the variety of mozzarella on them. What is the most common mozzarella used on their pizza? ...
3
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the spicy kick in “Kraft Tangy Spaghetti” box meal?

So, since I've lived at home, there has been a boxed spaghetti mix that has always been especially good to me. The thing I like about it is a subtle heat of some kind of pepper or spice. I've tried ...
3
votes
4answers
13k views

Does tiramisu firm up in the fridge?

I am making my first tiramisu, using this recipe from Gourmet (with high ratings on Epicurious). My mascarpone mixture looks terribly soft to me. As per recipe, I foamed 4 yolks with 80 ml sherry (I ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Using Canned San Marzano Tomatoes Vs. Regular Canned Tomatoes

I have never used San Marzano tomatoes yet. I recently bought a cookbook and most of the recipes call for San Marzano Tomatoes. They are more expensive. Is it really worth paying the extra money for ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
36k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

When should or shouldn't you toss pasta with sauce?

Tossing pasta with the sauce saves the need to unstick it with starch water. But I have a theory that if the pasta sits in the moisture of the sauce for too long (fridge) it gets soggy and loses it's ...
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. ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
460 views

Thickening Alfredo sauce

My girlfriend and I are huge fettuccine alfredo fans, so we have been trying to recreate one of our favorite Italian dishes at home. The trouble we keep having is thickening the Alfredo sauce ...
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
4answers
16k views

What are some seasonings that can spice up a bland frozen chicken alfredo? [closed]

Tonight, the main course is: Red Baron's Chicken Alfredo. The problem is that it's a little bland so I'm trying to figure out what the best seasonings will give it more spice, or at least a more ...
2
votes
4answers
295 views

How to make white risotto

I want to make white risotto, but I can't as the broth is usually brownish and makes the rice to have the same color. I don't know how to make/get white broth, any ideas how to make white risotto?
2
votes
2answers
229 views

How can I prevent the cheese on my homemade pizza from hardening too soon?

I am on my road to perfecting thin crust pizza, but a major problem is that about 5 to 10 minutes after getting it out of the oven the cheese begins to congeal and harden, making my homemade pizza ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

What side dish should I have with saltimbocca?

What is traditionally the side dish you eat with saltimbocca a la romana?
2
votes
2answers
106 views

gluten free gnocchi tasting too much like potato

I made my first batch of gnocchi this weekend and after quite a bit of work, I got gnocchi that didn't taste great. The consistency was ok; they did not disintegrate when I boiled them for a couple ...
2
votes
6answers
4k views

How to make softer biscotti?

I made this biscotti recipe yesterday - Fruity Christmas Biscotti. It contains plain flour, baking powder, mixed spice, golden caster sugar and eggs. The recipe also calls for raisins, dried cherries ...
2
votes
3answers
268 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
189 views

Should I be scared of chicken livers? Can I make them less scary? (Ragu Bolognese)

I am planning to make this Ragu Bolognese. The recipe looks so good, and I am due for a fun freezer filling project. The thing is though, that I hate, hate, hate liver. On the other hand, I really ...
2
votes
2answers
465 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?
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?
2
votes
5answers
526 views

What to do with italian soda type syrups?

I go to an Italian grocery store near my house that has an aisle filled with different flavors of syrup. I know you can make Italian soda by mixing it with carbonated water but I was wondering what ...
2
votes
1answer
313 views

Are spuntini a form of appetizers?

I am going to an Italian restaurant and trying to educate myself a bit about the food before going. I own the oxford companion to Italian food, but it says nothing about the term "spuntini" which is a ...
2
votes
1answer
461 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

Difference between Fleischkäse, Mortadella, and Parizer

I am a great fan of some cold meats typical to Germany, Italy, and Romania. Surprisingly, I was unable to find a definition of how they are made which is sufficiently accurate to determine any ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Definition of a “half glass?”

I'm making oven baked caponata and the recipe calls for a half glass of vinegar. No clue how many ounces to a "glass."
2
votes
3answers
85 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
9k views

Impastata Ricotta for Cannoli

I have been trying to make homemade cannoli filling, but I can not find Impastata Ricotta anywhere. I have tried using regular Ricotta, leaving it to drain in a cheesecloth overnight and then food ...
2
votes
1answer
334 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Pasticcio vs Lasagna

What's the main difference between this two dishes, Pasticcio and Lasagna? I think pasticcio has ham and I think both have béchamel sauce. They both need to be baked (as far as I know) but honestly, ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
333 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 ...