Italian Cuisine: The Ultimate Guide
Italian food is a celebration of produce. From Italy’s wheat fields come pasta, breads and pizza, while each Italian region boasts an array of cured meats and artisan cheeses. Its vineyards and olive groves produce some of the finest wines and olive oil, while Italian citrus and nuts come to life in main dishes and desserts alike.
The essential ingredients of the Italian Kitchen
Pressed in groves across Italy, olive oil is the foundation of Italian cooking – whether for frying, braising or drizzling. The holy trinity of soffrito is crucial, while fresh herbs play a starring role in everything from butter sauces to vivid pesto. Fruit and vegetables are eaten seasonally, with tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes and more all given pride of place when at their best, before being preserved to enjoy out of season (often as part of an antipasti platter).
Italian food and wine go hand-in-hand, but coffee, cocktails, spirits and beers are all vital parts of Italian cuisine. There’s the breakfast ritual of cappuccino and cornetto (the pastry, not the ice cream), followed by countless espressos. Pre-dinner is aperitivo time, with Italians congregating in bars to enjoy a beer or appetite-awakening cocktail and some salty snacks. Then there’s wine with dinner, before the day concludes with an after-dinner digestivo.
WATCH OUR VIDEOHow to make fresh pasta
- Serves: 4 people
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- Chef’s Tip: The perfect ratio of eggs to flour is 1 egg for every 100 grams (this amount serves 1-2 people)