Fred Wehba | Cook Like an Italian

Fred WehbaItalian cuisine is, according to Fred Wehba, perhaps the most delectable fare on Earth. This is no doubt in part to the country’s tried and true cooking methods and short list of staple ingredients, says Wehba.

Equipment

Before a proper Italian dish can be prepared, Fred Wehba explains that the cook must first have the right tools. A pasta machine is an invaluable addition to the Italian kitchen. A pastry wheel is also necessary as are heavy pots, wooden utensils, and sharp knives.

Pantry stock

According to Fred Wehba, no Italian cooking experience is complete without a few requisite ingredients including balsamic and red wine vinegar, rice, cannoli, porcini mushrooms, and olive oil. A well-organized spice rack is additionally necessary to whip up an authentic Italian dinner. Ingredients such as oregano, basil, sea salt, and rosemary can be purchased at any grocery store and have a shelf life of six months or more. Fred Wehba notes that an aspiring Italian cook should also ensure a full stock of Italian cheeses, broths, butter, and eggs.

Techniques

Fred Wehba explains that Italian cooks employ a number of methods which vary dish to dish. Sautéing is popular as it helps to infuse flavor into the meal. Braising and roasting are also common. Fred Wehba describes meat cooked over a low temperature for an extended period as rendering a tender entrée with maximum flavor.

In place of pasta

While pasta is the most prolific food most people associate with Italian culture, risotto is another hearty side that complements virtually any meat or vegetable. Fred Wehba says that risotto is a creamy rice dish that is delicious but requires constant attention and careful timing.

Regional differences

From a culinary standpoint, Italy is divided into two distinct regions: North and South. The South is most known for its tomato-based pasta dishes while in the North, beef and white truffles are key. Both are equally delicious and capable of satisfying even the heartiest of appetites.

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