Italian food is some of the world’s finest cuisine and enjoyed by many home cooks and families. It’s no secret that Italian love to cook, and food & family go hand in hand. There’s a certain comfort that washes over us when we think about a nice Italian style meal. Images of a large spread of antipasto, entrees, bread, and desserts come to mind, along with free-flowing wine. Where there is food, there will be family gathered to enjoy it. If you’ve ever experienced a true Italian dinner, you already know that food is never in short supply, and neither are the stories of the ones we hold dear. As nice as it is to go out to eat and enjoy Italian meals at a restaurant, you can easily prepare those Italian dishes that you love so well at home, and save money by doing so.
Try your hand at making your own pasta. Italian food is so much more than just pasta, but pasta is of course, and Italian staple. Making noodles or even ravioli is attainable if you have the right tools. Investing in a really good pasta machine can make all the difference when it comes to making your own pasta from scratch. You can certainly tell a big difference between fresh and dried pasta, so making your own is definitely something that you should put on your bucket list. Williams-Sonoma has incredible cooks tools, including pasta machines and pasta molds/stamps. Sign Up at Williams-Sonoma & Get 15% Off + Free Shipping on Your Next Order $49+.
When cooking fresh Italian food at home, you will want to use a selection of herbs in your cooking. Dried herbs will do in a pinch, but nothing is as fresh and delicious as fresh herbs from the garden. You can easily plant herbs like basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme in a container or small garden bed. Herbs do well in lightly drained soil, and in full sun. Some herbs like rosemary and oregano can really root and take off so you might have to watch over them and cut them back on a regular basis to keep the plants from growing out of control. If you don’t have room outside for a garden area, you can even grow basil in a small pot on a windowsill. Just pinch off the leaves and chop or tear them up when you are ready to use them. Basil tastes delicious on top of just about anything! It’s not too late in the season to plant some herbs. Head over to Gardener’s Supply Co. and save up to 33% on their gardening sale.
Italians also enjoy many different types and cuts of meat in their cooking. Veal parmigiana is a classic Italian dish, as is sausage and peppers. You might even wish to stock up on fresh ground beef for meatballs, to add in with baked ziti, ravioli, etc. Save 40% off at Great British Meat Co., and fill your deep freezer with fresh, delicious meats that you can use in a variety of Italian soups, meals, and more!
Don’t forget the wine, the cheese, and the dessert! Aside from cooking luscious entrees, you can skip them altogether, and simply enjoy antipasto, along with wine, and then enjoy dessert. A simple red table wine, like Chianti, will be the perfect choice for an Italian meal. Serve with a crusty bread, like focaccia or ciabatta, and put out a dish of olive oil and cracked black pepper with roasted garlic for dipping. You may also wish to serve fresh mozzarella cheese, olives, and a variety of meats, such as prosciutto and salami. When it comes to dessert, you can keep it simple with Italian cookies and ice cream or gelato, or you can go with something rich, like tiramisu. Be sure to offer coffee or espresso, as is the tradition after an Italian meal.
Once you try your hand at a few simple Italian dishes, you will quickly see how easy it is to prepare your own Italian meals at home. They’ll taste even better than what you’ve had in restaurants, because you made it with your own loving hands. Mangia!