As Americans, we are accustomed to the traditional Italian spaghetti and meatball dish along with other classic favorites such as fettuccine alfredo, chicken parmesan, and lasagna. However, have you ever been curious if we have “Americanized” these Italian dishes? In Italy, their ingredients and preparation could be extremely different than what we are used to. Let’s take a look at how Italians whip up a traditional Italian dish.

Ingredients in an Italian Dish

When indulging in the rich textures and creaminess of those warm Italian dinners, it’s important to distinguish what truly makes an Italian dish. Italian food puts an emphasis on produce with some protein peppered in. Typically, an Italian dish starts with antipasti which include pepperoncini, mushrooms, and artichokes along with cured Italian meats. Next up, we have the smaller pasta dishes which generally have some light protein.

Olive oil is the go-to ingredient when cooking an Italian meal followed by garlic and onions. Green vegetables are often the central focus of any Italian dish and occasionally balsamic vinegar is included.

Tips & Tricks to Create the Best Italian Food

Italians are fish fanatics, whether it’s fresh seafood or canned sardines. Another unique characteristic regarding Italian cuisine is that Italians love to preserve their food. This mean pork is later used as sausage and salami, olives are turned into extra-virgin oil and of course, grapes are fermented into wine. The key is to take your time. Italians live a laid-back, warm and inviting lifestyles which they transition into the food. When creating any type of masterpiece, you want to take your time. Since all Italian flavors are intense, you can use them in moderation and you never have to worry about adding a little something extra.

Starches Used in Italian Cuisine

Starches are another core ingredient when making a hearty Italian dinner. Choose from the risotto, fettuccine, tortellini, ziti, Arborio rice as well as many other pasta options. Making pasta is quite simple, or you can stop by Bricco Salumeria & Pasta Shop to pick up some of our homemade pasta. It’s important to purchase quality ingredients, and if you’re new to cooking an Italian dish, start with a simple meal.