Cooking Italian Food at Home

Many people love Italian food. They enjoy a dinner out at their favorite Italian eatery. But what if you could have that same experience in your own home? Cooking Italian food is fun and easy, and can be a lot easier on your wallet than numerous meals out. Before you can start cooking Italian food, you will need to stock the pantry.

Balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil are commonly used in many recipes. Cheeses such as asiago, fontina, mozzarella, and provolone are also essential. Vegetables like tomatoes and peppers are often used, so be sure to visit your local farmer’s market. Arborio rice will be needed for risotto.

If you plan on making your own pasta, you will need some semolina wheat. Fresh herbs are another must, so you might consider starting a herb garden with basil, oregano, and rosemary. And don’t forget your favorite meats! For beverages, you will need water, coffees, and of course a couple of different varieties of Italian wines.

The Tools

If you are totally new to cooking Italian food, you may need to have a few special tools in your kitchen to be able to prepare all of the recipes. An espresso machine is important if you like that after dinner cup. A garlic press, cheese grater, and pasta press will make cooking easier. For serving you will want a carafe for oil and vinegar, some fun serving ware, and a corkscrew for the wine.

Finding Recipes

Another aspect of cooking Italian food is getting together some authentic Italian recipes. You can try taking a class on Italian cooking or picking up a cookbook from your local library or bookstore. The internet is another great resource since you can search online for just about any Italian recipe that you can imagine. Save your favourites in your own files so that you can access them again easily. As your cooking skills improve you can try more difficult recipes until you become your own proficient Italian cook. You can even consider asking friends to exchange their favourite recipes with you as well.

Many people start cooking Italian food with basics such as pasta and pizza. However, another place to practice your Italian cooking skills is in the realm of desserts. Italian desserts range from gelato to cakes to the famous tiramisu. Many of these recipes are fairly simple and lead to spectacular results that your guests are sure to appreciate.

Going Further

If you have decided that you want to take cooking Italian food at home to the next level, you might want to consider taking an official class. There are online courses that you can take, as well as college cooking courses. If you can afford a trip to Italy, there is no better way to learn Italian cooking than from the Italians themselves. A trip to Italy can give you the chance to learn from the masters, as well as taste local cuisines that can inspire you to attempt new creations in your home kitchen.

Anna Fiori writes Italian and general food-related articles for the Good British Food website at []