Tips & Tricks
Craft homemade, authentic meals using extraordinary fresh flavors and our chef inspired tips and tricks.
Soffritto is the flavor base of many Italian dishes. Diced onions, celery and carrots are gently sauteed in olive oil, or sometimes butter. Soffritto is often referred to as the secret to Italian cooking, or called “the holy trinity.”
Tip: Add salt to the water until it tastes like the sea AFTER the water has come to a boil.
Cooking pasta al dente, "to the tooth" in Italian, means the pasta will still be firm when you bite into it. This is preferred because the firm bite of the pasta allows you to taste it better.
Tip: Boiling your noodles in a pot that’s too small is an innocent error that can lead to a disappointing dish. So unless you’re cooking a single serving of pasta, do as Italian grandmothers do. Use a 5 or 6 quart pot.
Instead of using dried or jarred options, purchase fresh herbs to season your dishes. You can easily freeze what you don’t use and keep it for a future dish. Another thing to keep in mind is to never overdo the herbs and spices when preparing Italian food. You want them to accent or bring out certain flavours in the dish, not overpower them
Trick: Reserve some of the pasta water before you drain! It's a great addition to the sauce. Add 1/4 cup or ladle full to your sauce before adding the pasta. The salty, starchy water will thicken the sauce and not only adds flavor but helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
When you cook pasta, 2 oz. of dry pasta per person is a good rule to follow. What does 2 oz. look like? It depends on the shape...
◦ Spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, angel hair — a bunch of noodles in your hand the size of a quarter.
◦ Elbows, penne, rotini — 1/2 cup
◦ Ziti — 2/3 cup
◦ Campanelle, farfalle, rigatoni, shells — 3/4 cup