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Italian Food

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Lately I have found fascination and appreciation of Italian food. My limited scope of Italian food is meagre and hope to increase my collection of Italian recipes and cook italian dishes often. I welcome your input, sharing of recipes, the historical aspect of the different regions . Most of all I like the different strong colours lavishly used in italian dishes.

Bon apetit!
"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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post #2 of 26
I can probably give you some recipes later, but just as a start, italian cooking is pretty simple (some dishes are elaborate, true, but not with the making of complex sauces for the most part). It is based on the fact that italy has a very good rich soil, often volcanic, there are smaller farms, shorter distances for stuff to be shipped, longer growing season, and so lots of flavor. If you want to make good italian food, you need good basic ingredients in season and preferably locally grown. Good extra virgin olive oil, good aged parmigiano reggiano are essential You can save lots of money on italian cuisine because most people eat very little meat, and lots of vegetables, so rather than spend on the meat, spend more on the vegetables. and the oil and cheese.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #3 of 26
The best part of Italian food is making something from nothing, it takes so little to make a wonderful fresh tasting dish. So much of it is really peasant food, very seasonal.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 

Italian Food

Sirs, r u Italian? Thanks, what is Parmigiano reggiano?(it's parma ham?). Keep the recipe coming, especially a list of ingredients used. I am making a trip to China next month and would like to share some italian food with them, my relative who grown lots of peppercorn?
"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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post #5 of 26
I'm italian american, and have lived in rome for over 30 years. (Also I'm not a sir, siduri is the name of a mythological female babylonian beermaker and innkeeper)
parmigiano reggiano is parmesan cheese, the real stuff, that you buy in a chunk with "parmigiano reggiano" written in black melted in dots on the crust, which you grate at home. Very expensive, but worth every penny. Tell me what kind of recipes you want - pasta, vegetables, meat, deserts?
Here's one to start. Pasta with cauliflower.
Take a cauliflower that's nice and white and hard. Cut it into small flowerets and slit through the stems so that none is thicker than 1/4 inch - you can slit a cross slit up the middle, or simply cut in half and then in quarters if they're big. Wash and drain.
Put about an eighth of an inch of extra virgin olive oil on the bottom of a heavy frying pan, cut 6 or 7 garlic cloves in slices (they don;t have to be thin), either black freshly ground pepper or one or two small red hot peppers (not sure what they call tehm there, cayenne?) or half a tsp red pepper flakes, add cauliflower and cook over very low heat, covered, and stirring occasionally so they don;t burn. The idea is that they should just get soft, and if anything very faintly golden brown towards the end. They have to sort of melt. Meanwhile boil the water for the pasta - you need a big pot, not a saucepan, 3 quarts of water or more and add a small handful of salt). When they're really soft cook the pasta: rigatoni, shells, big elbows, or even penne. No spaghetti or other long pasta. Cook over high heat in an uncovered pot, the pasta needs lots of room to float around, stir it at the beginning a couple of times so it doesn't stick together. Start tasting a couple of minutes before the time it says on the package. Bite into one, you should see a line of brighter white in the center. You want to cook it till that line is just barely or almost disappeared (question of taste) - it should be chewy but not stick too hard in your teeth.
Drain immediately, put back in its pot, put two handfuls of grated parmigiano reggiano on top, mix, and then add the cauliflower and mix well. Serve immediately.
You can do the same with zucchine, cut into half-inch pieces.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

Italian Food

Thanks Siduri. I wish to know some history of the provinces of Italy where famous food orginates. I am keen to learn some colourful dishes like those pasta)forget the name) white or green one layer with ingredients over the next and top with cheese and salamander. Are you able to make pesto and salsa also? Which is the most popular city or province with hive of activitys?

Cheers!
"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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post #7 of 26
Pesto is easy - you can do it with the mortar and pestel, and it's really nice, but for starters use your blender - put extra virgin oil in, about an inch, then half fill it with fresh basil leaves, the smaller top leaves, without the stems, then a couple or more of cloves of garlic, a handful of pinoli or pine nuts, or if you prefer, walnuts, and a large handful or two of grated parmigiano, blend it all and pour over hot pasta, and mix well.
salsa means sauce, there are millions of them. The basic principle is to slowly fry chopped garlic or onion or both slowly in butter or oil or both, until they are soft but don;t get brown. Add a can of good plum tomatoes, or in season, good, non-hothouse, local tomatoes, cook for about 20 minutes, or half an hour, squashing with fork or potato masher. Then you can expand on that, brown ground meat in the onion, add chopped celery and carrot, or you can sautee mushrooms and add to the sauce or use garlic and a can of tuna, and then add the tomato at the end and cook. It's late now to give more.
Where are you from?
I ask, because i can;t figure out what you mean by salamander - sounds like you're talking about lasagne, but salamander is a sort of lizard, and i certainly wouldn;t want to find one on top of anything I eat! do you mean bechamel?
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 26
I am also a woman, Italian descent.
Here is a website with you may enjoy and may help you locate recipes. http://www.italiancookingandliving.c...food/food.html

siduri, your cauliflower and pasta dish is one of my favorites!
post #9 of 26
I'm wondering if cookwithlove means salami instead of salamander.

Kevin

I like muskies.
post #10 of 26
I think cookwithlove used "salamander" as a verb. A salamander is a sort of broiler for top-browning, so what I think was meant was that the dish is to be topped with cheese and placed under the salamander to brown.

Here's one made by Wolf:
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post #11 of 26
ah, yes, i see about the salamander. thanks mezzaluna - in fact, now i remember in some old cookbook, something with a name like that (possibly exactly that ???) which was a heavy chunk of metal with a long handle, that was supposed to be heated red hot on the stove and then used for heating the top of creme brulee.

To cookwithlove, i suggest trying to find a book of italian regional cooking. I have an old one by Ada Boni, called (appropriately enough) Italian Regional Cooking and it's quite good, lots of nice pictures, good recipes. I don't know if it's still in print but it's certainly available used (just bought a used one recently for my nephew). It explains some of the regional differences and gives just enough recipes to get the idea.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #12 of 26
Hi, I hope I'm not too late in the discussion. My questions aren't so much about recipes, as they are about ingredients.
You mentioned about Parmigiano Reggiano. How are you supposed to store it? I just generally store mine in the fridge, but was wondering if that was the correct way? Does it need to be in an airtight container? And how long do you suppose it lasts? I ask, because I've used it once, and it was very expensive, so I only got a little bit of it. The taste is absolutely amazing.

Last question(s)... Boccancini? I've probably misspelled that. Fresh buffalo mozzarella. When I bought it, the insides of each ball were very watery, but when I've seen it used, it's been able to be sliced. I was wondering if taking the balls out of the brine would help dry them up slightly, or if I'm just supposed to leave them in there and they firm up by themselves? I'm also curious as to how to store them too.

Sorry for the long winded questions.
I'd appreciate any help.
Cheers.
post #13 of 26
Hi Kepa,
parmigiano reggiano - i usually just wrap in plastic and keep in the frige. Probably not the best way, but mainly the problem is that it dries out of you don't wrap it, and i never got moldy parmigiano. If it dries up, some people wrap it in a damp paper towel for a while. Probably there are plenty of cheese experts to tell you more precisely, but this is the italian housewife way.
bocconcini (little mouthfuls) are usually sold in their own milky water or whey i think. Theoretically they are supposed to stay there, but i find they get more and more mushy as they do, and will dry a little if you take them out. It will also extend their life, though change their nature. I'm not a big mozzarella fan, precisely because of the milky watery consistency, unless it's really fresh buffalo type with a kind of more dense crust. When it gets mushy i really don;t like it. If you keep them dry, they will turn into "appassite", which are good grilled.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #14 of 26
Thank you so much for that! That's a huge help!
Cheers.
post #15 of 26
One resource with a wealth of information is Chef Mario Batali. I don't know if his shows are available on your side of the pond, but here in the States, he has a couple shows on FoodNetwoork television. The one I am thinking of is Molto Mario, where he dives deeper then one usually would into the history of the food being prepared, and the region(s) it comes from. The only catch with Chef Mario is he talks extraordinarily fast, which is a bother to me trying to learn. If you can find his shows and overcome the speed at which he talks, he knows a ton about the history of Italy and the cuisine there.

Side note: I base my assumption of your being on the other side of the pond from your European style of spelling. Forgive me if the assumption is inaccurate.
"Life ain't always beautiful; Sometimes it's just plain hard. Life can knock you down, it can break your heart. Life ain't always beautiful: You think you're on your way. And it's just a dead end road, at the end of the day. But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise. And...
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"Life ain't always beautiful; Sometimes it's just plain hard. Life can knock you down, it can break your heart. Life ain't always beautiful: You think you're on your way. And it's just a dead end road, at the end of the day. But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise. And...
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post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

Italian Food

Thanks Siduri and others for your love of italian food. I am an Asian and sad we don't have 4 seasons like you(good kamma) I oftern hear of SUMMER VEGETABLE can you tell me what are the group of summer vegetable used in Italian or european cities and lastly how do you cook ingredients like artichoke, yellow squash, sun-dry tomato, egg plant in Italian cooking?

Stay healthy and live happily!
"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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post #17 of 26
I'd be happy to share my recipes with you. I'm not sure what you're interested in. The term "Italian Food", much like the term "Chinese Food" is quite generic. Italian food, Chinese food and foods from other parts of the world are regional. With respect to Italian food, are your interests in lamb, veal, fish, tomato sauces, creme sauces, fresh meats, smoked meats, etc..
I have a very good recipe for Rotini pasta with artichoke hearts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, grated parmessiano romano. Would you be interested in that?
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My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
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post #18 of 26
Hi Cookwithlove,
summer vegetables are: zucchine, eggplant, peas, peppers, string beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, probably dozens of others that don;t come to mind
winter: broccoli, cauliflower, broccoletti (like broccoli that's only the leaves), spinach, cabbage, yellow squash or pumpkin and surely others
spring: asparagus, artichokes (I think - or is that fall? maybe fall)

Too late now to write recipes - maybe tomorrow?
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

Italian food

I agreed with Culprit. I try to be precise. Any excellent traditional dishes (with recipe)taste good and colourful would be greatly appreciated. The dressing up and presentation leave it to me! For chinese food, the like the cantonese version(Hong Kong's style)taste good, lots of blanching in oil makes the dish sparkling, not too much sauce.
"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

What are?

Siduri,

What is the meaning of Tagilerini and Capellini?

Tks
"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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post #21 of 26
Capellini - Thinner than angel hair; thinnest spaghetti-like noodle


Taglierini - thinner version of Tagliatelle, flat ribbon style
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 

Brocconcini vs crostini

What is a Brocconcin and crostini?
"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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post #23 of 26

what kind of recipes are you looking for?

post #24 of 26

i can give you an amazing francese recipe if you'd be interested in that.

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post

I can probably give you some recipes later, but just as a start, italian cooking is pretty simple (some dishes are elaborate, true, but not with the making of complex sauces for the most part). It is based on the fact that italy has a very good rich soil, often volcanic, there are smaller farms, shorter distances for stuff to be shipped, longer growing season, and so lots of flavor. If you want to make good italian food, you need good basic ingredients in season and preferably locally grown. Good extra virgin olive oil, good aged parmigiano reggiano are essential You can save lots of money on italian cuisine because most people eat very little meat, and lots of vegetables, so rather than spend on the meat, spend more on the vegetables. and the oil and cheese.

Thats true what you mention regarding more locally grown vegetables...so italian cooking can be great options for both cheap and healthy cooking
 

post #26 of 26

Mudbug, those pasta are really good and I think it cooks fast. Where should I find that kind? Thanks!

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