Italian Cooking Basics

Making Things Easier

Preparation instructions,  “how to’s,” and tips for items that are traditionally widely used in a variety of Italian food recipes.

Some interesting information about authentic Italian food

Stories, history and background that you might not know about.

“Quanto Basta” – Getting Italian Recipe Measurements Right.  Be forewarned of the “quanto basta” feature of many Italian recipes.  The literal translation from Italian is “quantity,  enough,” or as the Nonna’s say, “until it feels right, until it tastes right.” This means you most likely will need to experiment and try things a few times to get it just right.


Passata is uncooked tomatoes with skin and seeds removed.  Fresh tomatoes are pressed through a sieve or tomato maul. The pulp that accumulates serves as the basis for sauces, soups and other items calling for non-chunky tomatoes. It is a staple in Italian kitchens.



Italian meal structure
Italians have mastered the art of eating well and using meals as a celebration of life. For formal or festive occasions, anytime there is something to celebrate, there is a specific order to the meal courses.