Do it the Italian way with our list of helpful tips to make your dishes sing.
1. Never order a cappuccino after 11am…
…it’s just not Italian!
2.Keep those coffee grounds
Throw them on your garden where they will enrich the soil with beneficial nitrogen.
3. Always freshly grated.
For a more intense flavour!
4.Keep your Parmesan rind…
….and add to soups, stews and casseroles for an umami punch.
5.No Parmesan with seafood
Protect the delicate flavours of fish, pasta and rice dishes and spare it the Parmesan, just like in Italy.
6.Keep tomatoes out of the fridge
Allow them to ripen and live at room temperature for maximum flavour and juiciness.
7.Sprouting garlic is passed it!
Once garlic has sprouted it becomes bitter and loses its great flavour – time to get a new bulb!
8.Tear basil, don’t use a knife.
Metal blades oxidise this pungent green herb, turning it black.
9.Keep olive oil in the dark
This will protect the delicate flavours and stop it going rancid.
10.Make flavoured oil
Simply add chillies, garlic, or herbs to your favourite oil and infuse for a week or so.
11.Chill your onions.
Onions from the fridge are slightly milder, making them perfect for salad.
For perfect ripeness, place a hard fruit in a paper bag with a banana for a day. (We love frozen avocado from Tesco – perfect for Insalate Caprese anytime).
13.Use tagliatelle with your Bolognese.
In Bologna, the home of this famous ragu’ sauce, tagliatelle is always used – never spaghetti. It holds the sauce better, leaving you with a clean plate.
14.Save some pasta water.
Reserve a cupful of water before you drain your cooked pasta and add to the sauce for a glossy, silky finish and coat your pasta perfectly.
15.Listen to your pasta.
When it’s just about cooked, pasta releases starch into the boiling water, changing the sound from bubble-bubble to blop-blop.
16.The bigger the better.
Use a big pan and plenty of boiling water (salted if you prefer) so that the pasta moves and cooks freely in the pan without sticking together.
17.Fish sauces love anchovies.
They pack a big hit of umami, the sixth taste, which all the family will love. Anchovies are great with lamb too…
18.Fennel of two kinds.
Male fennel is round and bulbous, perfect for salads. Female fennel is, of course, more slender and better for cooking.