Lidia Bastianich’s Tips on Cooking Italian

Cooking Italian

1. There are over 170 different pasta shapes and all the nooks and crannies are designed to hold various types of sauce (that’s why certain shapes are ideal for different sauces)

2. When boiling the pasta, don’t add oil! The oil clogs the pores in the pasta, which hinders the sauce from sticking to it the starch.

3. Do not break your pasta (noodle types like spaghetti, linguini, etc) before adding it to a pot of boiling water.  It’s bad luck!

4. If you plan on freezing any leftover pesto sauce, cover the surface with a thin layer of olive oil. It will keep the sauce from oxidizing.

5. Store your olive oil in a dark, cool place, in a small container. It’s unstable and can change when exposed to elements like light and heat.

6. To make meatballs in a pinch, simply de-case a sausage link (they’re pre-seasoned and flavored) and roll the filling into balls.

7. Know your oven like you know your Ferrari.


Spaghetti

8. Olive oil is meant for flavor, not for frying, so don’t use it if you’re cooking with very high-heat.

9. Instead of using oil, try greasing your grill with the fatty end-cut of a piece of meat (ask your butcher for it).

10. Does your pasta sauce call for butter? Add it to the end of the cooking cycle because if you add it early on, the flavor will evaporate and leave just the fat by the time you’re ready to serve.

11.  Add cheese off the heat, just before serving. You don’t want to cook it and potentially lose some of its flavor.

12. Olives all start out green: their colors indicate their level of maturity, so a black olive is much older than a green or speckled olive.

13. That being said, black olives yield more oil than green, but do not carry the best flavor so they are typically not used to make oil.

14. Cold pressed olives are more flavorful because flavors evaporate once there’s heat applied during the extraction process.

Variety of Olives


15. Roasting 101: if you want the surface to be crispy, place it on the top rack, and if the juices are too watery, move it to the bottom rack to thicken.

16. When making sauces that call for cheese, add the cheese just before serving to the serving dish. That way, any leftover sauce you have will last longer.

17Indulging in a multi-course meal? The appropriate amount of pasta to serve or consume is just 2 forkfuls.

18. Don’t toss hard, inedible cheese rinds—instead, save them for soups.

19.  When cooking dried beans, all you need is water and an aromatic (like bay leaves) for flavor. Don’t add salt during the boiling process because it hardens the beans.

20. Do not over sauce! All you need is just enough to coat the pasta.

Courtesy: Food&Wine.com

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