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Blog posts tagged with 'Italian cuisine'

The choice of pasta

When we think of Italian cuisine, pasta automatically springs to mind. I'd say that this association is more than correct. However, I would like to highlight that not all types of pasta are the same and above all do not go with every kind of condiment. In my shop you can find pasta, snacks and above all you can buy high quality pasta online. The quality of the pasta is fundamental for the creation of a good dish: consistency, precision in cooking and the capacity of absorbing the condiment are all characteristics that make a product excel.

If we think of various Italian recipes, we think of tradition but surely the Italians made variations of the indications and passed them along from mother to daughter. Take the Spaghetti all'Amatriciana, for example. There's no doubt about it that this type of sauce goes very well with the type of pasta but many choose to use the penne style of pasta as an alternative and I must say that I have also chosen this variation once or twice with my children and they really enjoy it. Another idea that I'll give you, is to try mezze maniche style of pasta with a carbonara sauce; in this case I prefer by far this style to a traditional spaghetti. Do you know why? ...the guanciale bacon goes inside the pasta and it all blends together very well and what's more, it is much easier to cook for many people.

If you have a pasta salad in mind, I'd like to suggest fusilli pasta. It is pretty to look at when mixed with tomatoes, cheese, tuna, sweetcorn and it stays al dente.

With a little fantasy and something in the fridge, you can make an absolute quality plate of pasta and enjoy a lovely lunch with the whole family.

Balsamic Vinegar: Mario's touch of class

The Italian cuisine is considered a poor person's cuisine, our Mediterranean diet, famous throughout the world, is as simple as can be whilst containing all of the vitamins and nutrients for good health. We say "you are what you eat" and I believe that to be so. Not only this, but I am always for the opinion that it is the quality of the ingredients that makes the great difference, not only in food that is good for our health but also determines if food is or isn't named high quality cuisine.

With my colleagues, we ponder upon many a discussion about products, which are made in Italy, about the theory that our land should be treated as gold as it is that, which gives us our produce. These meetings usually come about around a dinner table, and each of us brings a speciality from our own shop. Just the other day I decided to prepare a series of bruschettas, with my spiced oils as condiments, I obtained real particular and tasty flavors, with oil and garlic, chilli, Tropea onions and capers, all with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil added and balsamic vinegar from Modena.

I am not here to tell you what my colleagues Elena, Aldo, Anna and others brought to the table... I'll tell you only that Luigi made a keynote on red wine from Montepulciano and... Obviously we drank it!

White, red and… ? Italiano!

Do you remember the scene with the meatballs in “Bianco, rosso e Verdone” where Mimmo tells Sister Lella off for eating one of the meatballs in secret from his plate at the autogrill? The legendary Sister Lella didn't love “hospital food”, neither in reality nor in fiction. In the film, due to her cholesterol levels, she had to eat light and fat free foods. For this reason she steals a tasty meatball with ragu sauce from her grandson's plate. How wrong! A meatball with a grand glass of red wine and a slice of bread to mop up the sauce... it is a really tasty culinary moment, typical of Italy.

Red wine that is produced in Italy from different grape vines is tasted in each special glass of wine and should never be missing from the table, especially those with meat based dishes, like meatballs, roast beef, braised meats, all dishes that require a red of a certain body. In Luigi's Passione Italiana wine shop you have a way to find the Italian red wine that will surprise you with both its taste and aroma.

If you prefer, on the other hand, a lighter or fresher wine, you should choose a summery white wine that can well accompany a lunch or a fish based dinner. To stay with the themes of Italian cinema and white wine, we can remember the film “Mid-August lunch”. Here we have, again, a grandson and his grandmother, emblems of a typical Italian family, that are drinking during a lunch in the mid-August holiday together with some funny old ladies in the summer heat of Rome.

So, white or red or..? As long as it's Italian.

Fast food, made in Italy

The good food culture has always been a must for Italians. From north to south, choosing quality products from the starter to wine is the Italian prerogative. Over the past few years, the motto “you are what you eat” has been a guideline for people all over the world, not only in Italy. The logic of fast food is opposed and slow food is favourable. It is important to realise that eating well doesn't mean not being able to eat something that is prepared quickly, rather choosing the right products and assembling them i the proper way.

A very famous Italian chef says that even a simple sandwich can be a high quality product and can easily fall into the famous Mediterranean diet  that is good for both our physique and our taste buds. If we choose good oven baked bread, or, why not, even one homemade by us, along with a quality ham that we know the origin of: the best being a culatello or a Parma ham, we can add a slice or two of Reggiano Parmesan cheese and a couple of salad leaves seasoned with extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar from Modena. A quality sandwich, fast to make and fast to eat... fastfood- Italian style.

Suggestion: When you are on your lunch break, remember to take some time for yourselves, accompany this delicious sandwich with a glass of good Italian red wine and then go back to your working day.

A special gift

For Italians, choosing a good wine is never easy. Special attention must be paid when purchasing wine because it is associated with special occasions: organising a dinner for friends, a romantic dinner, even a treat to take to friends' and relatives' houses. Buying an Italian wine can not be rushed, it is a choice that is to be pondered upon and all the factors need to be taken into account: who the wine is for, what food will accompany it, if there will be women present, where the guests come from and many other shades of decision making technique.

We can give you advice on how to make a grand impression and to enjoy a night in company with a lovely glass of Italian wine. First of all it helps if you know, even more-or-less, the dishes that are to be served, we can  give you a few suggestions: if the menu consists of fish, obviously we advise an Italian white wine, like Passerina. This is a wine, which goes well with all sea food dishes and can be enjoyed right from the starter. If, on the other hand, the meal is set to be land based and you would like to exalt all of the flavours, a red wine would be ideal, preferably the Amarone di Valpolicella; it is an important wine, full bodied and a definite must-taste, one of those wines that just takes you. We suggest that you pour out this wine about an hour before it is due to be enjoyed, however. If you have decided to wow your guests with a homemade pie or pastry dish and you want to give a gourmet feel to the meal, a dry white wine such as Vermaccia di Oristano di Riserva is by far what you need to make the most of the evening.

The Italian spin on wine, cuisine, a perfectly laid table and the people who you most enjoy spending your time with will not only better your day... but your life!