However, there are some terms and phrases that are a bit confusing if you aren’t a chef. As a result, it may be beneficial to get to know some of the most common terms used in Italian cooking.
Not only will it help you with your own recipes, but also make ordering Italian food much easier.
Here are 10 Italian Cooking Terms that you’ll want to know:
1. Al Dente
The literal definition is “to the tooth.” Most commonly heard when cooking pasta, al dente means the pasta, after being cooked, should have “bite” left to it. The term is also used for cooking veggies, another ingredient that should not be overcooked.
In Italian, the word means hunter. For recipes, such as pollo alla cacciatore, it means “hunter-style chicken.” In most cases, dishes including cacciatore are prepared with wine, herbs, peppers, tomatoes and onions.
This word means appetizers or starters. Antipasti can consist of cured meats, cheeses, olives and usually, bruschetta.
The Italian translation of Casalinga is housewife. However, this also refers to food that is homemade.
Don’t confuse this term with the popular pizza topping pepperoni. Peperone refers to peppers. If you have just one pepper, it is a pepe.
While this is a small word, it has a big meaning. In fact, if you see ceci on a menu, it means chickpeas or garbanzo beans. This is often seen in various soups and pasta dishes.
This word means “little orange.” It is the name of the delicious risotto balls that are deep fried. Traditionally, these are stuffed full of peas, ragu and mozzarella; however, they can be made with all sorts of combinations.
Ribollita is a Tuscan soup that always includes some type of leftover bread, beans and an array of vegetables. The literal translation of this word is “reboiled.”
While this word comes from Tuscany, it is a dish that is enjoyed throughout Italy. Panzanella is a special type of salad, made out of tomatoes and toasted bread.
In English, Bianca means white. You may see the word on menus or in recipes referencing pizza. In most cases, pizza Bianca will be tipped with parmesan cheese, but doesn’t include pasta or tomato sauce.
Now that you have brushed up on your Italian food terminology, you are ready to embark on a “tour of Italy,” enjoying all the delicious dishes this country offers.