Italian Cooking Tips Lunch Main Pasta

5 Ideas to cook Pasta: Easy Fast and Tasty!

How to cook the real Italian Pasta, 5 delicious ideas: EASY, FAST AND TASTY recipes!

Few great traditional Italian Pasta ideas:


Spaghetti with Fresh tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese and Basil or “Spaghetti al Pomodoro, Basilico e Mozzarella”

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 320 grams of  Maccheroni Pasta or Spaghetti Pasta
  • 10 fresh tomatoes like San Marzano or Canned Tomato
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • a sprig of Basil
  • 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Black Pepper as preferred
  • Parmesan cheese as preferred
  • 200 grams of Mozzarella cheese cut in cubes


  1. In a pan pour 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a clove of crushed garlic, cook until the garlic becomes golden and then remove it, add the fresh tomatoes and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Cut the mozzarella cheese into chunks.
  3. In a saucepan, pour the water and salt (about 1 spoon/the water should taste a little bit salty), bring to a boil, add the pasta, cook according to package instructions until “al dente”, drain the pasta and transfer  into the pan with the tomato sauce, add cubes of mozzarella cheese and  add the basil leaves. Add Parmesan cheese on top and serve. The result is pretty amazing!


Rigatoni Gricia or “Pasta alla Gricia”

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 320 grams of Mezzemaniche  or Rigatoni Pasta
  • 200 grams of “Pancetta” or “Guanciale” (chopped, about 1-2cm) Pork similar to Bacon cut, or use bacon if pancetta is not available
  • 100 grams of grated Pecorino Cheese
  • Salt, Pepper as you prefer
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, of course


1. Cut the bacon into strips and fry in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, once the bacon will become transparent and all the fat has melted, turn off the heat. Do not burn the bacon! Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot with salted water.

2. Drain the pasta “al dente”, take a few spoons of the cooking water and pour into the pan with the bacon. Add the grated pecorino cheese and plenty of black pepper, mix the sauce with pasta to make the Gricia, fry for a few minutes. Serve.


Spaghetti with Pesto and Tomato, with fresh Pachino and Pine Nuts

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 320 grams of Spaghetti Pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of Pine Nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 tablespoons of Pesto sauce
  • 40 Pachino Tomatoes
  • Salt, Basil as you prefer


  1. Add the pine nuts to a pan with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and let it cook for a few minutes, to brown the pine nuts but not burning them.
  2. Add the Pachino tomatoes to a pan, previously cut into chunks, and cook for 5 minutes with high heat, sprinkle with salt at the end.
  3. In the meanwhile, cook your pasta of choice in boiling salted water as from instructions on packaging and dilute the pesto with a few tablespoons of cooking water from the pasta itself. Drain it “al dente”, add it to the pan with tomatoes and saute a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the pesto on top.
  4. Serve pasta on the plate garnished with fresh basil leaves, toasted pine nuts and some chopped Pachino tomatoes.

Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Chili Spaghetti or “Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino”

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 400 grams of Spaghetti (like Barilla n°5)
  • 10 grams of Garlic
  • 10 grams Fresh Chili
  • 50 grams Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5 grams of Parsley
  • Salt as preferred


  1. Cut the fresh red chili into small strips (removing all the seeds inside), in the meanwhile in a pan heat the olive oil with the peeled garlic and chili. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté, after about 3 minutes remove the garlic – garlic and oil should not burn – and add a little of boiling water taken from the pasta cooking water.
  2. Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water according to package directions. Drain the pasta as from instructions on the package to be “al dente“, and pour it into the pan, sauté for a few minutes, add the parsley and if needed add 4 tablespoons of cooking water. Serve immediately and hat.

TIP:  Garlic should always be fried in entire pieces or half big pieces, so that you can remove it once the oil got the flavor, the idea here is to get a garlic flavor not to eat entire garlic or worst scenario little garlic pieces all over pasta as in many fake Italian recipes often is suggested.

Farfalle with Tuna and Rocket or “Pasta con Tonno e Rughetta”

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 320 grams of Farfalle or Spaghetti
  • 200 grams of Tuna Canned
  • 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 100 grams Rocket
  • half Lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper as you prefer


  1. Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a pan and include a clove of garlic, cook until the garlic is brown and then remove the garlic from the pan. Add the tuna canned (remove the extra oil from the canned tuna before using it) and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Boil your pasta of choice according to the instructions on the package, very “al dente”, remove Pasta from the boiling water 1 minute before fully cooked, drain and finish cooking into the saucepan for 1 minutes more. Add the rocket cut just before serving and mix it.

TIP: add some capers to this recipe for a nice tasty southern variation.

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!



Healthy Italian Cooking Tips

4 Easy Tips on How to Make Healthy Recipes

Discover quick healthy recipe tips to cook healthy Italian meals for you and your family. Learn how eating healthy is simple with easy healthy recipe ideas from Italy.

For many people, making healthy recipes seems too difficult and time consuming. But with some advance planning and some basic knowledge of nutrition, it is easy to create a week’s worth of healthy meals that you and your family will love. The key to creating delicious and healthy meals for the family is planning! Planning ahead of time an entire week of healthy recipe meals is the best way to create dishes you can be proud of, while keeping cost and time commitment to a minimum. So below are amazing tips you can use to make healthy meals all the time.

Healthy Recipe Tip #1:

Using convenient appliances such as slow cookers and microwaves can be a huge time saver when planning and preparing meals. There are many delicious and healthy recipes that can be started in the morning and left to cook all day in a crock-pot or slow cooker. These are great choices for working families. In addition, making the meals ahead of time on the weekend and heating them in the microwave is a great way to stretch both your food and your time. There are many microwavable healthy meals you can make at home, and single serving microwave safe containers allow every member of the family to eat on their own schedule. When planning the meals for the week, it is a good idea to create a chart listing each day’s menu and each day’s schedule. Here’s a smart tip: plan the quickest and easiest to prepare meals for the busiest days of the week.

Healthy Recipe Tip #2:

Get your family involved in creating the week’s meal plan by asking for their input and noting everyone’s favorite foods. It is still very important to eat healthy meals, so that (of course) does not mean eating pizza every night or having ice cream for dinner. But involving your spouse and children in healthy recipe planning, you’ll help to increase their interest in healthy eating right away. It is also a good idea to get your entire family involved in the preparation of the meals. Even children too young to cook can help out by setting out the dishes, chopping vegetables, clearing the table and washing the dishes.

Healthy Recipe Tip #3:

Cooking large quantities of healthy food recipes – and freezing the leftovers – is an easy way to save time. Cooking large amounts of stews, soups, pasta, chili and casseroles can be a huge time saver. Making double and even triple batches of these staple foods, and freezing the leftovers for later use, is a great way to save both time and money. When freezing leftovers, however, it is important to label the containers carefully, using freezer tape and a permanent marker. Try to keep the oldest foods near the top to avoid having to throw away expired items. Stocking up on meats when they are on sale is another great way to use that valuable freezer space. Stocking up on such easily frozen foods as chicken, turkey, ground beef, steaks, roasts and chops is a great way to make your food dollar stretch as far as possible while still allowing you and your family to enjoy delicious healthy meals every day.

Healthy Recipe Tip #4:

Keeping a well-stocked pantry is as important as keeping a well-stocked freezer. Stocking the pantry with a good supply of staple items like organic canned vegetables, organic canned fruits, soup stocks and other vegetable foods, will make healthy recipe preparation much faster and easier. Stocking the pantry can save you money as well as time. Grocery stores are always running sales, and these sales are a great time to stock up. Buying several cases of organic canned vegetables when they are on sale, for instance can save lots of money and provide the basic ingredients for many nutritious, easy to prepare meals. Examples of great staples to stock up on include whole grain cereals, Italian pastas, tomato sauce of the best quality, baked beans, canned salmon, tuna and whole grain breads. It is easy to combine these staples into many great meals on a moment’s notice.

We hope you found these healthy tips easy and useful!

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!


Italian Cooking Tips Pizza

A Brief History of Pizza: The Dish that Conquered the World

The word pizza in Italian identifies any type of flat bread or pie baked or fried.

Pizza, the way we know it today, is a derivation from focaccia (from the Latin word for fire), flat bread that has been prepared since antiquity in different forms and garnished with herbs, olives, fat, raisin, honey, and nuts.

Although you’d find many types of pitas or pizzas around the Mediterranean, it is in Naples that pizza in the form we know it today first emerged, after the tomato appeared on the table in the 1700s. Naples has many records of pizza since around the year 1000; the first mentions call these flat breads laganae, and later they are referred to as picea. In those times, pizzas were dressed with garlic and olive oil, or cheese and anchovies, or small local fish. They were baked on the open fire and sometimes were closed in two, as a book, to form a calzone.

In Naples is also where the first pizzerias opened up, with brick wood-burning oven, covered with lava stones from the Mount Vesuvius. The chefs of those times ignored pizza because was considered a poor peoples food, but the new combination with the tomato, when it entered the kitchen around the 1770s, must have raised some curiosity, even in the royal palace. Ferdinand I Bourbon, King of Naples, loved the simple food of the people and went to taste the pizzas made in the shop of Antonio Testa. He liked it so much that he wanted pizza to be included in the menu at the court. He failed after the opposition of his wife, Queen Maria Carolina. His son Ferdinand II also liked all kind of popular food and he loved pizza to the point that he hired Domenico Testa, son of the now famous Antonio, to build a pizza oven in the royal palace of Capodimonte.

Pizza became very popular, earning its place in Neapolitan folklore. Simple and economical, it turned into the food for all people, even sold on the streets, as shown in many illustrations of the time.

A famous episode extended the popularity of pizza beyond the limits of the city of Naples. It was 1889, and Margherita, queen of Italy, was visiting the city. She was told about pizza and wanted to taste it. A famous cook by the name of Don Raffaele, helped by his wife Donna Rosa, was invited to cook pizza at the royal palace. They prepared three pizzas, typical of that time: one with cheese and basil; one with garlic, oil, and tomato; and one with mozzarella, basil, and tomato. The queen, impressed by the colors of the last pizza, which resembled the national flag, preferred that one. Since then this pizza is known as Pizza Margherita, and Don Raffaele is credited with its invention, even if we know that it already existed for a long time.

At the beginning of the last century, with Italian immigrants, the first pizzerias appeared also in the United States, where pizza has become a mass phenomenon. Yet, even today the best pizza is found in Naples, where it is rigorously made with buffalo mozzarella. Superior pizzas are considered those obtained by moderate variations of the simplest and most popular: Pizza Napoletana with tomato, garlic, oil, and oregano; Pizza Margherita; Pizza Marinara with tomato, anchovies, capers, and olives; and Pizza Four Seasons, divided in four quadrants, each dressed in a different way. Pizza with hot salami, the American Pepperoni pizza, is instead originally found in the Calabria region south of Naples, where this type of hot sausage is produced.

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!

Healthy Italian Cooking Tips Main

A Delicious Companion To Good Health: The Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The health benefits of Olive Oil in the Mediterranean diet has become more than a novel observation.

Clinical research is substantiating healthy benefits, but the gourmet tastes and flavors are bonuses well worth mentioning too. Highly favored as cooking oil, or for use in a variety of classic dressings, olive oil is being touted in some quarters as a delicious companion to good health. Research on the health benefits of olive oil is impressive, so is the affects of the Mediterranean diet.

Substantial health benefits of olive oil may be found in a Mediterranean diet, which explores the varied uses of olive oil in both food preparation as well as additional balanced meal choices. Combined, olive oil and appropriate food choice seem to enhance the overall health of those subscribing to the Mediterranean diet.


Olive Oil as a Cholesterol Reducer

Compared to American cuisine, especially the snack and fast foods prevalent in the US, the Mediterranean Diet has intrigued the medical world. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published findings that indicate the introduction of olive oil into our regular diet has demonstrated a reduction in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). This is significant because once LDL cholesterol has oxidized it often results in artery rigidity and accompanying heart disease.

Olive Oil in Cancer Prevention

In a comparison study at the University Hospital Germans Trias Pujol in Barcelona there seems to be an indication that the health benefits of olive oil may also be useful in the prevention or slowing of cancer cells. In the study, lab rats were introduced to a carcinogen that resulted in cancerous tumors. The study provides evidence that a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil prevents colonic carcinogenesis reducing precancerous tissue, which resulted in fewer tumors when compared to a controlled sample of rats ingesting foods containing other types of cooking oils.

Researchers at Oxford University in England have seen indications that olive oil may actually be as good for our digestive system as fresh fruit and vegetables in preventing or reducing the incidence of colon cancer. While red meat seems to be linked to the development of colon cancer, fish and olive oil seemed to reduce the incidence of colon cancer. The reasons behind this phenomena are still being considered, but it is believed that the olive oil may help regulate the bile acid in the stomach while increasing useful enzymes within the stomach that contribute to optimal colon health.

Olive Oil and Heart Health

The American Heart Association has also noted that consumption of olive oil has clear health benefits.

Olive Oil and Lower Blood Pressure

By substituting virgin olive oil for other fats within your diet, the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates a substantial reduction in drug dosage requirements for the management of high blood pressure. Initial findings indicate dosage reductions could be as high as 50%. By lowering the level of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) there is an increase of the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). The antioxidant effects of olive oil have also been widely reported and are effective in reducing free radicals within the body that may prove to be a causal agent in pre cancerous and cancerous growth.

While studies remain ongoing, it is encouraging to note that something that has long been noted for good taste may also be a link to positive health benefits and longevity of life. An adaptation of the Mediterranean diet may be a healthy, yet palatable change well worth considering.

What are the key plus of Olive Oil important to remember?

  • The reduction of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in the blood
  • Maintain blood levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL)
  • Improve bowel function
  • The prevention of cardiovascular disease and protect the body from heart disease because of the powerful antioxidants contained
  • The treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers, facilitate digestion after
  • The reduction of gastric juice
  • The best absorption of calcium by the body
  • The proper metabolism of diabetics and consequently the equilibrium price of sugar
  • Prevent cancer
  • Rejuvenate skin

The positive effects of olive oil due to high content of antioxidant substances resulting function combination and effectively limit the destructive effects of free radicals, strengthening the body’s defenses and fortifying the heart and blood vessels! Thus, the “liquid” gold, as used to cite Homer overflowing abundance of nutrients:

  • Tocopherol (vitamin E)
  • Phenols
  • Squalene
  • Aromatics
  • Phytosterols
  • Oleuropein

While Olive Oil promotes health and wellness, its consumption should be moderated because of the increased caloric content (1 tablespoon contains 135 calories). Daily recommended as part of a balanced diet eating 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (one on the portion of our food and one on each salad). Something to remember. OLIVE OIL WE SIMPLY LOVE YOU!!!

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!

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