A Beginner’s Guide to Authentic Italian Food

Frankreference19 Comments

authentic italian food

Welcome to our three part beginner’s guide to authentic Italian food! Here’s what you’ll find here:

Part I: The Varieties of Italian Cooking

This post walks you through the principal types of Italian cooking. Everything from  true Italian food, the kind they make in Italy, to Italian Diaspora cooking, which at its best has an authenticity all its own, to the more dubious ‘Italian-style’ cooking and just plain bad imitations.

To read the post, click here.

Part II: Learning to Tell Real Italian Food from Fake

This post gives you some pointers on where to go to learn about authentic Italian food, from the best books and online sources to TV shows, and lists some of the most common tell-tales signs of fakery.

To read the post, click here.

Part III: How to Cook Authentic Italian Food at Home

This posts gives you the skinny on how to recreate authentic Italian dishes at home. It’s much easier than you think, so long as you keep some basic pointers in mind. The post runs down how to choose and work with ingredients for authentic flavors, and how to develop authentic cooking techniques. To get the most out of this post, read it in conjunction with our pages on The Italian Pantry and Italian Food Culture.

To read the post, click here.

Once you’ve been through these posts, I can guarantee that you will have a very good idea of what it takes to cook and eat authentic Italian food. The way it was meant to be enjoyed.

Buon appetito and happy cooking!

19 Comments on “A Beginner’s Guide to Authentic Italian Food”

  1. I just found this blog. Haven’t read much yet, but the photo top of this page made me smile. I have a couple of photos just like this, not of my nonna but a couple of her neighbors, and it’s one of my favorite memories as a child. I loved the tomato paste making at the end of summer. Everyone had paste boards in the backyard and canners bubbling away with whole tomatoes and sauce.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Maxi! And welcome to the blog! I’m delighted it’s bringing back those fond memories. Hope you’ll come back often and check out all our recipes!

      PS: If your nonna made her own tomato pasta, she must have been a fabulous cook.

  2. Pingback: Traditional Italian Recipes By Region - Your Guardian Chef

  3. Frank, I just finished reading this post and all the related ones! Thank you so much…most folks should read this to get clear on what “Italian” cooking is all about. We have been lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time in Tuscany and Lazio cooking with amazing ingredients, shopping in markets, eating in various restaurants and sampling local wines. These experiences have added much to our knowledge about the regions (along with much reading). For us it is the respect for food that stands out so much! I think, as you say, the rules are there for a reason! Thank goodness for farmer’s markets!

    1. They are making tomato paste the old-fashioned way, by drying it on boards in the sun. Taken in my grandmother’s native town of Apice.

  4. Frank this is a great series. I’ve been wanting to address the same thing for Mexican food. Like you and Simona I too experience frustration with all the misconceptions. I could talk about it all day long, but I won’t:) Thanks for posting this!

    1. I agree with nancy! thanks a lots for sharing. somebody asked me the other day what authentic Italian food is and honestly I wasn sure what to say. I feel each region has their own style but at the heart one will recognize an real italian dish. i can say that for example of Austrian food and French food. Compared to austrian food german tastes differently and even if its just over the border, 20 km further down the river.

    2. Nancy, I would really enjoy your take on real vs fake Mexican food. Look forward to your post!

  5. Congratulations on your new blog home.
    I must admit I get irritated when I see glaring mistakes or the spreading of misinformation.

    1. Thanks, Simona! The misinformation that’s out there can be so frustrating. But it’s important to keep the faith—and keep spreading good information!

We'd love to hear your questions and thoughts! And if you tried the recipe, we'd love to hear how it went!

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