Cooking Tips for baking and cooking Italian, from pasta to cookies to the popular Italian pasta frolla (pie dough) and don’t forget some delicious cakes! , looking for help with trying out some of my Italian Recipes? I hope these Cooking Tips will help.
Cooking Tips For Making it Italian
Making the Best Pasta Dishes
Always boil pasta in a large pot (the larger the better, the pasta needs room to cook) that is 3/4 full of salted boiling water. Boil the water first then add the salt. Stir often while the pasta is cooking on a strong boil.
Always buy a good pasta and cook till al dente, if it is a good package following the cooking time on the box is a good idea. No need to throw it against the wall, taste one to see if its cooked.
Always use olive oil.
Conserva is called tomato puree in english, not to be confused with tomato paste. Tomato paste is much thicker and a stronger taste, please don’t substitute one for the other.
When I write a lasagna recipe, it isn’t necessary to use fresh egg pasta, in fact I find (and my family seems to enjoy more) the new oven ready lasagne (no boiling needed) is a perfect alternative. I’m sure you can find it in the pasta section of your supermarket.
Fresh ingredients are always the best, fresh is what I use in all my recipes, unless otherwise written.
Salt and tasting is really important in Italian cooking, you can always add salt but it you can’t take it away, (sometimes you might be able to correct or try by adding more water) so remember to taste, taste in the beginning, taste in the middle of cooking and taste just before the end of cooking.
For Dry Cakes
If a cake recipe calls for more than one egg and the cake is dry instead of 2 or 3 eggs substitute 1 or 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk.
Turn the oven down by 10 degrees.
For Dry Cookie Dough
If your cookie dough is too dry (crumbly) add some softened butter to the dough to soften it up and then proceed with recipe.
Making the Best Italian Pastry Cream.
- Use only egg yolks.
- Stir continuously.
- Before turning on the heat mix your dry ingredients.
- Heat the (liquids) milk and cream (if using cream) until hot but do not boil, (unless you are making my other Pastry Cream without cream).
- Make sure you have 15-20 minutes of non interrupted stirring time, don’t stop stirring!
- Immediately place thickened cream in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, make sure it touches the Pastry Cream.
- Let Pastry Cream cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
Making the best Rice
I have a trick on making the best rice, cook it like pasta. Meaning boil a big pot of water, add some salt and then toss in the rice. Make sure to cook it al dente, drain well and serve. Works every time.
When making a risotto I rarely use arborio rice, one it’s on the expensive side and two normal rice works just as well. Although I would stay away from the par boiled type.
For making the best Pizza
Always start with a really good pizza dough, my Best Pizza Dough or Easy Pizza Dough are the perfect way to start. I learned to use fresh tomatoes on my pizza instead of a sauce and believe me it is so much better. Fresh herbs and olive oil make it even better.
Use a firm mozzarella instead of fresh, fresh has too much moisture so it will make your dough soggy. Nothing good about soggy pizza dough. And add the cheese in the last couple of minutes of baking time. You want a nice melty cheesy pizza.
Wondering what pan or if you can substitute a cake pan for your favourite recipe? Check out this
Need some help converting to metric?
1 cup of all purpose flour = 130 grams
1 cup of cake flour – 130 grams
1 cup of liquid (water / coffee) – 235 grams
1 cup corn starch – 135 grams
1 cup of sugar = 200 grams
1 cup of milk – 240 grams
1 cup of cream – 240 grams
1 cup of powdered sugar – 120 grams
1 cup of cocoa – 100 grams
1 cup of nutella – 296 grams
1 cup of butter – 210 grams
1 cup of brown sugar – 220 packed / 180 lightly packed
1 cup mini chocolate chips – 180 grams
1 tablespoon cream cheese – 14 grams
1 cup of vegetable oil – 200 grams
1 cup coconut flakes – 80 grams
1 cup Parmesan cheese grated – 100 grams
1 cup of yogurt – 245 grams
BUTTER TO OIL CONVERSION
- 1 teaspoon butter = ¾ teaspoon oil
- 1 Tablespoon = 2 ¼ teaspoons
- 2 Tablespoons = 1 ½ Tablespoons
- 1/4 cup = 3 Tablespoons
- 1/3 cup = ¼ cup
- 1/2 cup = ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons
- 2/3 cup = ½ cup
- 3/4 cup = ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon