All things Italian

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All things Italian

One of the best ways to experience a culture is through their food. Can’t tick Italy off the bucket list yet? Fear not, we have ways to bring Italy to you instead.


Antipasti, the contents of the first course vary according to the different regions of Italy. Many compare hors d’oeuvre with antipasti, but they differ in that they are served at the table and signify the start of an authentic Italian meal.

Expect cured meats such as pancetta, prosciutto, salami, ham, pepperoni, mortadella (a large Italian sausage, usually sliced) and smoked chicken or fish. Often times complemented with fresh or pickled seasonal produce including mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, cheese and sometimes fresh seasonal fruits such as melon.

Crudo with pangrattatoKnow your herbs



Risotto is often thought of as bourgeois and almost impossible to make, when in reality it’s the epitome of Italian home cooking. Risotto is a common method of cooking rice in Italy, and is normally served as a first course – except when served as risotto alla Milanese, a famous golden, fragrant risotto dish using saffron and Parmesan, typically served as a main-course dish with ossobuco alla Milanese.

Baked ham-and-kale risottoBarley risotto with beef broth and Parmesan rind recipe

Discover more risotto recipes here.


Who doesn’t love a steaming heap of al dente pasta with your favourite sauce and fixings? It helps that it’s super quick to make, too. Want to try making pasta from scratch? We have the perfect how-to, right here. Learn to make the perfect pomodoro sauce, or toss your freshly made pasta though this roasted tomato sauce with ricotta and pine nuts.

Or keep it 100% traditional with one of these four sauce recipes.



To make Alfredo sauce: Heat 1 T of olive oil in a pan, then fry 2 finely chopped garlic cloves. Add 1–2 cups of cream, 2 fresh thyme sprigs and 1 cup grated Parmesan, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat until reduced.

The story goes that Alfredo sauce was created in 1914 by Alfredo di Lelio who was trying to please his pregnant wife. He created a sauce made from Parmesan and butter and poured it over some fettuccine. He later went onto open a restaurant. No surprises there!


toasted linguine with tomato, chorizo and mussels

A Naples original, this literally means “spaghetti with clams” in English. It’s prepared in two ways: bianco (white) with oil, garlic, parsley, and sometimes a splash of white wine; and rosso (red), as for the former but with tomatoes and fresh basil. This method is more frequent in the south of Italy.

To make alle vongole sauce: Heat 3 T olive oil in a pan over medium heat, the fry 1 clove crushed garlic. Add 1 x 400 g can crushed tomatoes, 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, 500 g mussels and ½ cup dry white wine and cook until slightly reduced. Add 30 g torn chorizo if you like. Serve with spaghetti and a generous handful of torn Italian parsley.



To make carbonara sauce: Heat a nonstick frying pan and fry 400 g pork rashers for 5 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Mix 6 egg yolks, 1 cup grated Parmesan, ½ cup cream, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Add cooked, hot pasta and toss using a spoon and fork, coating the pasta in the creamy sauce. Once mixed, top with the pork rashers.

Pork meatballs in tomato sauce

To make primavera sauce: Heat 2 t olive oil in a small saucepan, then add 2 cloves finely chopped garlic and 1 finely chopped red chilli. Add 2 T tomato paste, 1 x 800 g can whole peeled tomatoes and 25 g dried porcini mushrooms. Cook for 15–20 minutes. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.

Discover more pasta recipes here.


End off your Italian-inspired dinner with the sweet taste of Italy. It’s the right thing to do…


Discover more Italian recipes here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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