Italian Cooking Tips

Read these 12 Italian Cooking Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cooking Schools tips and hundreds of other topics.

Italian Cooking Tips has been rated 3.3 out of 5 based on 81 ratings and 1 user reviews.
What new cookie recipes can I try to bake this Christmas?

Italian Cookies This Christmas

The best thing to eat with a hot cup of tea or coffee is biscotti. Biscotti are double baked Italian cookies flavored with anise, orange, almond, chocolate, hazelnut, poppy seeds, lemon, and even dried fruit, like cranberries. Who doesn't love cookies? When the Christmas holidays roll around, some people spend days baking up batches of cookies. The problem is, they tend to stick to the same old recipes. This year, why not try some Italian cookie recipes for a change? Biscotti is wonderful because it can be adapted for a variety of tastes. Even people who don't drink tea or coffee can enjoy the rich texture of biscotti.

Of course, there are lots of other Italian cookies to try including sweet fig cookies, sesame cookies, amarena (round almond cookies), and pistachio cookies. If baking nothing but Italian cookies for the next holiday is too far out of your comfort zone, just try one recipe to add to the gift baskets this year.

French pastries are usually the recipes of choice when it comes to baking sweets for the holidays. However, don't underestimate the power of Italian dessert recipes to liven up your holiday fare.

   
What areas should caterers specialize in?

Keeping the Catering Business Fresh

As a professional caterer, you can choose to specialize, or keep your repertoire open. A lot of people are interested in top quality Italian cuisine, so if you decide to specialize, consider the path of Italian foods. There are so many Italian recipes that can be made to order for any occasion. Customers who want spicy can get spicy foods; customers who want mild Italian foods can get that too. Catering jobs can come from anywhere, and it's important to be able to take a specialty (like Italian cuisine) and customize it to the client's needs.

Family reunions, high school reunions, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and awards ceremonies are some examples of where catering is required. When you think of those types of catering jobs and the diverse groups of individuals who'll be eating your Italian cuisine, it's important to remember to keep variety in the menu. The last thing you want to be known as is the “caterer who always serves the same thing”.

Getting bogged down in the business side of the catering business could very well sap your creative energy. Hire help if you need it. You're the artist and it's important not to lose that under piles of paperwork.

   
What kind of unique Italian restaurant ideas are there?

All Italian Breakfast Restaurants

When you hear “Italian food” you tend to think of main courses. Supper time meals come to mind. Heavy meals come to mind. But what about Italian breakfasts? If you're a recent chef school graduate looking for a unique niche, why not consider something a little different like opening an Italian breakfast restaurant? There are all various chains and franchises that sell “breakfast all day”, but they're all very traditional. Bacon and eggs; cereal and fruit bowls; pancakes and waffles can all be found on the menu. Why not things like Italian sausage with eggs and toast? As a fresh graduate, you probably have a million ideas for breakfast-only Italian cuisine.

The trick to a successful Italian restaurant, is offering something unique and different. People eat doughnuts for breakfast, so why can't they order Italian dessert recipes for breakfast? Imagine owning a restaurant bursting with Italian personality beginning first thing in the morning. With that much energy at breakfast time, you may not need to serve coffee!

Of course, that's just one idea for a unique Italian restaurant theme. There's nothing wrong with opening a standard high-end Italian restaurant. But if you're looking for something off-the-beaten path, think about trying something like an Italian breakfast restaurant.

   
What's the best way to learn about Italian cuisine and culture?

Living With the Italians

You don't have to be Italian to want a career working with Italian foods. However, if someone were to stop you on the street and give you a pop quiz on Italian cuisine, would you be able to think of anything besides Chef Boyardee? If not, you've got a big learning curve ahead of you.

Enrolling in a top culinary school is your first step. Before you fork over the first semester's tuition, find out more about the curriculum. The course load should be well rounded, including some class time, lecture time, practical work, and a stint working in Italy . That's right… Italy . Think about it; how can you really cook for a culture you know nothing about. By working and living in Italy , you'll get a better sense of what it means to be Italian. At the time, it might seem like more play than work, and it probably is. However, don't underestimate the knowledge and experience you're going to end up bringing back to your home town. Where do you plan on opening your first Italian restaurant? Wherever it is, your patrons will really get the flavor of Italy when they walk through you door. Why? Because you've been there.

   
Can I become an Italian?

Born to be Italian

Oh, the Italian and their infectious ways! Everybody wants to be Italian, know an Italian, or own an Italian restaurant. Cosmetic surgery can do a lot these days, but it can't change your ethnicity. Instead of cursing your mother for not marrying into an Italian family, do the next best thing: take Italian cooking classes!

You don't have to quit your day job to become a night time Italian chef. All it takes are a couple of amateur cooking classes to get you started. Learn how to bake Italian bread, Italian pasta, or Italian dessert recipes. Just being able to recreate the food of the Italian culture will leave you pining for a country you were never born in.

Once you've mastered some main Italian dishes, invite your friends and family over for an Italian-themed supper party. They'll be thrilled that you can a) cook, and b) found a place to indulge your Italian persona.

Now, don't make a complete fool of yourself. Just because you can cook a few Italian dishes doesn't mean you should walk the streets like a stereotypical mobster. That's just wrong. Taking a few Italian cooking classes shouldn't change who you are, just how you cook.

   
What's the Italian Finger Food game?

The Italian Finger Food Game

Have you ever hosted a Finger Food party? It's not what you think. This is the kind of party that only works when your friends know nothing about it. Of course you have to invite them to supper, but that's all they need to know. What you do is create a menu of Italian foods written either in Italian (if your friends and family don't know the language) or in a made-up language that makes sense only to you. Seat your guests and distribute the menu to them. Okay, at this point they're going to know something's up, but hopefully they'll be willing to play along. At this party, nobody gets any utensils. No utensils! As the guests order from the menu (that they can't read!) bring them their food choices and watch them go at it with their fingers. It's hilarious, but not recommended for stern anti-social types, like your crotchety mother-in-law.

The guests who chose Italian appetizers as their meal will probably be thankful they don't have to scoop up Italian pasta with their bare hands! Make sure to give your guests bibs and napkins before serving the meal. Things are going to get messy and you don't want your guests ruining their clothes.

   
How do I make a tomato Concasse

Start with a Tomato Concasse for Italian cooking.

The basis of good Italian cooking is a tomato concasse. Use in season Roma or Plum tomatoes Heat a pot of water to a brisk boil. With a sharp knife put a small X on the bottom of the tomatoes. After a few minutes take them out. Now you can peel them. Then seed them to you make your sauce. If you can’t get fresh in season tomatoes in season use canned.

   
How do I make a tomato Concasse

Start with a Tomato Concasse for Italian cooking.

The basis of good Italian cooking is a tomato concasse. Use in season Roma or Plum tomatoes Heat a pot of water to a brisk boil. With a sharp knife put a small X on the bottom of the tomatoes. After a few minutes take them out. Now you can peel them. Then seed them to you make your sauce. If you can't get fresh in season tomatoes in season use canned.

   
How do I make a tomato Concasse

Start with a Tomato Concasse for Italian cooking.

The basis of good Italian cooking is a tomato concasse. Use in season Roma or Plum tomatoes Heat a pot of water to a brisk boil. With a sharp knife put a small X on the bottom of the tomatoes. After a few minutes take them out. Now you can peel them. Then seed them to you make your sauce. If you can't get fresh in season tomatoes in season use canned.

   
What should I pack for a summer picnic?

The Summer Picnic

Summer is the best season for all kinds of reasons: swimming, camping, bonfires, gardening, and picnics. Picnics are especially nice because they get you outside in a more relaxed way than you'd typically find yourself. The thing to keep in mind is that picnics don't have to be complicated. They can be enjoyed by anyone. When the kids want to have a picnic, let them choose what they want in the picnic basket and send them outside with an old blanket that they can spread on the ground. If you're going on a picnic with the girls, on a date, or with the family, consider these food options:

Italian bread

Italian cookies for dessert

cheese

fresh fruit

juice or wine

a thermos of coffee or tea

sandwiches

potato chips

freshly chopped vegetables with dip

Most picnic baskets come with tableware, but if yours doesn't, remember to bring some plates, cups, and utensils. It's a good idea to pack some bug spray in a separate bag, some wet wipes, and suntan lotion as well.

   
How can I convince my partner that there's more to Italian food than just pasta?

Italian Food - More Than Just Pasta

How many times have you heard someone turn down an idea to visit an Italian restaurant because they “don't like pasta”? Obviously, they haven't had truly authentic Italian cuisine because if they did, they'd realize there is so much more to Italian recipes than lasagna.

Your meat loving “steak and potatoes” guy could easily find something to eat from the menu. There's chicken, veal, beef, and pork to choose from, among other things. Ordering a side dish of pasta isn't necessary either. It might take some convincing, but try to convince your partner that there's a whole world of Italian food options waiting for him to try.

Once he sinks his chops into those tender, perfectly seasoned cuts of beef or poultry there'll be no turning back. Roles will reverse. Suddenly you'll be begging off Italian food and your partner will be making restaurant reservations two or three times a week.

Maybe it's best to approach Italian cuisine with caution. Once your partner catches on to the varied tastes involved (beyond Italian pasta) you'll have to take Italian cooking classes so that you can make these dishes at home.

   
How can I take an Italian cooking course with my busy schedule?

Italian Cooking for Lifestyle Balance

We're all busy. We work all day, sometimes all night, and have families to look after. So what is it that keeps nagging at the back of your mind day in and day out? What is it that you really want to do for yourself? As part of a healthy well-balanced lifestyle, it's important to put work aside and indulge in favorite pastimes and activities. When life becomes nothing but work and no play, quality of life suffers.

Taking Italian cooking lessons is a great way to reacquaint yourself with the wonders of good, authentic, homemade Italian cuisine. No need to quit your day job. Just sign up for mini courses, like those offered at the Italian Culinary Institute in New York City . You've got countless options including short, intense, courses and workshops on everything from antipasti to meats, poultry, fish, pastries and desserts. What's really neat about these compact mini courses is that they give potential students something to build on. They're perfect for busy professionals who just want to take a course or two, or for people thinking about a career as an Italian chef.

You might even surprise yourself. What started out as a way to find stress relief and time to yourself could very well turn into something bigger and better if you let it.

   
Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Cooking Schools Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!


Guru Spotlight
Christina Chan