3 Glaring Mistakes in the Italian Culinary Arts

by Rob Sutter
I am not the kind of person who can consider himself an "authority" on Italian cooking. After all, I'm not familiar with all of the techniques associated with this form of culinary preparation and I'd like to think that only those who have years of experience will be able to focus on the specifics associated with this process. However, as someone who comes from a half-Italian background, there are certain mistakes that students and graduates of culinary colleges should be mindful of when it comes to this endeavor.

Do you want to go about the Italian culinary arts with as high of a level of quality as possible? Do you have the desire to go about this endeavor without having to encounter one error after another? You might very well benefit from a learning experience. If this is the case for you, here are 3 of the more glaring mistakes to avoid when cooking Italian entrees.

1. Pouring oil into the water. In order for pasta to be cooked to its fullest, a pot of boiling water must be utilized. The general rule of thumb, in regards to Italian cooking, is that regular stirring can help to keep pasta from sticking together, which is a common step that novices might overlook. In order to maximize your efforts when cooking pasta, do not add oil to the water. While you may associate oil with less sticking, it can actually make matters difficult for yourself. After all, too much oil leads to unnecessary fat content. Do not worry about adding this; regular stirring will serve your spaghetti, penne, or what have you well enough.

2. Lower prominence of pasta. Depending on the type of dish that you want to prepare, pasta is likely to come in certain amounts. However, if you want to stay as true to Italian tradition as possible, pasta should be more of a centerpiece; it shouldn't be viewed as a bit player, especially if you are learning from culinary schools in California not unlike the International Culinary Center. Make sure that it has a greater role in the dishes that you create so that they are that much closer to authentic Italian cuisine.

3. Utilizing ketchup in place of traditional sauce. This can vary, depending on background, but it is easily the most glaring issue associated with Italian culinary arts done the wrong way. Yes, both ketchup and pasta sauce share a few similarities, amongst them being the utilization of tomatoes. However, aspects like their tastes and consistencies are much different, which means that these products should only be used for certain purposes. Ketchup is not ideal for pasta and many Italian cuisine enthusiasts might see it as an insult, if you can believe it. Stick with traditional pasta sauce and keep the ketchup to the side until your next barbecue.

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