Using Basic Italian Food And Wine Recipes

by Laura Gallagher

A basic of gourmet cooking in almost any cuisine is wonderful sauces. Any collection of Italian food and wine recipes is no different. It will contain many versions of sauces, based on three basic sauces, marinara, pesto, and alfredo.

Marinara sauce is the staple of many dishes. It is what most people think of when they think of Italian cooking. It is so versatile as to be a part of many dishes with only a few added ingredients. Some of these dishes include lasagna, spaghetti, soups, and many pasta dishes.

This sauce is composed of tomatoes, garlic that has been sauteed to bring out flavor, and olive oil. Nothing whets the appetite like a pot of simmering marinara sauce. After freezing, it can be thawed for a quick meal by adding a variety of different ingredients, such as garlic, onions, and meats such prosciutto, sausage, pepperoni, and ground beef to make a meat sauce.

Pesto is the easiest basic to make. It has only four ingredients, which are basil, garlic, some type of cheese, and olive oil. Ground nuts that have been toasted are sometimes added. These might be pecans, pine nuts, or walnuts. This sauce is great spread on thick, crusty slices of bread to make bruschetta by adding a number of desired ingredients.

Another basic sauce is alfredo. It uses another staple, cheese. Several different cheeses can be used alone or in combination to make many dishes. There are, among others, parmesan, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Regiano cheeses. This is a heavy, creamy sauce that uses cream and rich cheeses for exquisite flavor. For variety, sausage, prosciutto, or other ingredients can be added.

Another staple ingredient in italian food and wine recipes is wine, both red and white. Tomato dishes traditionally use a red for robust flavor. Alfredo and other creamy type dishes use a milder white variety. Chicken dishes, also, often use a white for a richer flavor. The versatility of this cuisine means pleasure to almost any palate.

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