How to Make Italian Food Like a Pasta Restaurant

How good Italian food turns out depends on how the salt and fat (oils) are layered, the type of pasta, the ingredient quality, and the sauce consistency. A pasta restaurant considers the timing (how long the pasta cooks/when to add ingredients) and the desired outcome when making Italian food.

Adding salt to boiling pasta water will help build flavor and reduce stickiness. The salt added will depend on one’s preference, the salt in the sauce, and the flavors in the garnishing.

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Pasta restaurants also add starchy pasta water to the sauce to thin it and boost the flavor.

Fats and oils used in Italian dishes include olive oil, butter, heavy cream, infused oils, meats, and cheese. A pasta restaurant strategically uses fats in different forms to distribute flavor and create the perfect texture.

For example, some restaurants use aromatic oil as the base before adding pasta sauce, which also has some oils. The garnishes sometimes include flavored cheeses over some meat. Avoid adding oil to the pasta water. It makes the pasta mushy, and slippery, so the pasta won’t absorb the sauce and the flavors.

Mentioned above are the basics of making Italian food that pasta restaurants follow. How flavorful the dish is depends on the type of sauce you use and your oils of choice. Remember to warm your plate before serving because pasta cools very fast.


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