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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11
votes
10answers
122k views

What's the difference between a Stromboli and a Calzone?

On the east coast Italian restaurants (or pizza shops) sometimes offer both Strombolis and Calzones. Sometimes it seems that Calzones are a 'type' of Stromboli, because the menu has a single Calzone ...
0
votes
3answers
98 views

How do I impart the flavor of mint to a tomato sauce?

I have dumped 2 tbsp of dried mint and 2 handfuls of crushed mint leaves into a reduced 28 oz tomato sauce but it only made a dent of mint taste in the sauce. I don't get it - a little dry or fresh ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Can you cook off the acidity in wine?

My marinara was strangely too acidic than before even though I used canned tomatoes which are normally ripe, but then I remembered I added white wine to the flavor base (which i reduced). First I do ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Why did my ricotta cheese did not completely melt in the Alfredo?

Today I sauteed a quarter cup mushrooms in 3 tbsp butter and added 250ml cream. Everything was set for me to add the ricotta and finish the Alfredo, but it only partly melted. Beyond a certain point, ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Onion and Garlic, a no-no?

I had an Italian flatmate once who was on the brink of lynching me when he saw I used garlic and onion in one dish. He said that - at least in Italian cuisine - thats an absolute no-no. You can use ...
3
votes
2answers
466 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? ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

How do I know when my wine is properly reduced?

I guess it can be subjective according to tastes, but some reduction is required. If I could know what I am trying to do away with in the reduction process (alcohol, raw bite or volume) then I could ...
3
votes
1answer
205 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
5answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
139 views

How do you store cooked pasta without losing the bite?

When I cook pasta I usually drain all the water and keep about a cup of pasta water so I could loosen up a sticky pasta or bulk up a sauce. But spaghettini or capellini is too thin so it breaks up ...
4
votes
3answers
88k 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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a non-pork substitute for Italian sausage?

We do not have genuine pork Italian sausages here in Israel. When a recipe like Ragu or Bolognese calls for Italian sausage, what meat could be used as a substitute for ground pork, and what ...
2
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
19k views

What varities of chili peppers are most commonly used in Italy

I've been reading some Italian (written in Italian, by Italians) cook books and web sites and I find that many recipes call for peperoncini. I thought I knew what these are, but according to this ...
4
votes
6answers
17k 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

Why do stuffed shells recipes include eggs?

I'm making stuffed shells, but I don't have any eggs. All the recipes I can find call for one or two eggs. What is the reason and can I get away without eggs?
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Stewing Tomatoes for a Purée(sauce)

Aside from water, are there any other liquids I can use to stew tomatoes to make a purée? I was thinking maybe chicken stock or vegetable but don't know how that would taste or if it would even be ...
10
votes
3answers
40k views

What is the difference between tomato puree, paste and sauce?

I was looking for a recipe for an Italian tomato sauce when I came across an old cookbook from an American Creole Chef I like, but I'm really confused about the terminology he uses for some of the ...
2
votes
4answers
294 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?
10
votes
2answers
389 views

Why do we dimple a focaccia?

When I was making a focaccia earlier today, I realised that I've never been told why we dimple them before baking. A quick Googling didn't reveal anything, so I'm asking here: why do we make dimples ...
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, ...
12
votes
7answers
7k views

Is there a way to safely can pesto sauce?

I grow basil and I have enough that I would like to can some pesto sauce. I have tried to find a way to can it but I keep hitting a wall. I would like to give a few cans of pesto to people for ...
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 ...
12
votes
7answers
66k views

What causes a tomato sauce to have a bitterness and getting rid of it?

My tomato sauce is coming out great, lots of flavor, especially after I was able to reduce it following the tips here However, it is still slightly bitter. What causes a tomato sauce to have a (in ...
3
votes
3answers
943 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 ...
55
votes
26answers
255k views

In a tomato sauce recipe, how can I cut the acidity?

It seems that every time I make a tomato sauce for pasta, the sauce is a little bit too acid for my taste. I've tried using sugar or sodium bicarbonate, but I'm not satisfied with the results.
1
vote
3answers
916 views

What should I do with candied citron?

My inlaws just gave me a gift of candied whole citron (not just the peel) that they picked up from southern Italy. It was very thoughtful and just in time for Sukkot! However, I'm just not sure ...
1
vote
2answers
452 views

Nuts in Italian cooking

What sorts of nuts are common in (real) Italian cooking? Looking online it seems that walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts figure heavily but do Italians use cashew nuts, peanuts, pistachio or other ...
2
votes
1answer
254 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
27k views

How to prevent overcooking of eggs in Carbonara sauce?

Carbonara can be absolutely delicicious if everthing goes perfectly; but it can also be tasteless, chewy and lumpy, if the egg is overcooked. Does anyone have what they regard as a fool proof method ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
20k views

Is 'Pizza yeast' any different than normal baking yeast?

A friend (Italian) mentioned that she uses 'Pizza Yeast' for making pizza, and one can't use normal yeast or it'll "grow too much".. I looked around the internet for "Pizza yeast" and all I found was ...
3
votes
2answers
404 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
175 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
2answers
184 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
1answer
179 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."
3
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
401 views

How can I make a super-thin, yet strong, calzone crust?

I am a relatively experienced amateur when it comes to making pizza, especially pizza doughs. I recently went to Italy and enjoyed some calzones with super-thin crusts. My standard recipe for a ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Should good prosciutto be refrigerated?

I recently bought a whole bunch of really good, freshly-cut prosciutto in Italy, and I plan to eat it in about a week or two. However, I'm reluctant to stick it in the fridge until that time. In my ...
2
votes
2answers
105 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
20k views

Why is there a watery run-off after cooking my bolognese?

It's a fairly standard recipe with passata and wine, simmering on a low heat for a couple of hours. After stirring and putting the bolognese onto the pasta, after a couple of minutes the sauce ...
6
votes
3answers
759 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
35k 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
votes
6answers
3k 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
31k 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 ...