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Italian Cooking

as a hobby

Life is a combination of magic and pasta.

Federico Fellini

Italian cooking is a wonderful hobby that can enrich your life with delicious food, culture and fun. Italian cooking is based on using fresh and seasonal ingredients to create simple and authentic dishes that are full of flavor and nutrition. To get started with Italian cooking, you can buy a good cookbook, watch some online videos, join a cooking class or club, or visit an Italian market or restaurant. You will soon discover the joy and satisfaction of making your own pasta, pizza, salad and more.

Helpful content to start italian cooking as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.


Short visual inspiration.

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YouTube Playlist | Italian: la dolce vita
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YouTube | Gennaro Contaldo’s Authentic Italian Spaghetti Carbonara | Citalia
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YouTube | Italian Grandma Makes Pizza and Pizza Sauce
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YouTube | Gordon’s Pasta Guide | Gordon Ramsay


Play an episode while exploring the page.

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Spotify | Italian Cooking 101
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Spotify | The Essentials of Italian Cooking – Marcella Hazan
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Spotify | #26 Italian cooking traditions
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Spotify | EP7 – Vegetarian, vegan, Gluten free, but totally traditional!

Italian cooking is based on the principle of simplicity and quality. Italian cuisine is known to pay close attention to the ingredients used, and it’s based on the principle of what you see is what you taste. Italian food consists of fresh, healthy and amazing quality ingredients, such as olive oil, garlic, tomato, basil, cheese, pasta and wine. It also uses simple and authentic cooking styles, such as grilling, roasting, baking and boiling.


Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Al dente: This term refers to the ideal texture of cooked pasta, which should be firm to the bite but not hard.
  • Antipasto: This is the Italian word for appetizer or hors d’oeuvre. Antipasti are typically served before the main course and can be a variety of dishes, such as cured meats, cheeses, vegetables, and salads.
  • Aromi: This term refers collectively to herbs and other flavoring ingredients like garlic or ginger.
  • Bianco: This term means “white” in Italian and is used to describe dishes that are made without tomatoes. For example, a pizza bianca is a pizza made with white sauce and cheese.
  • Bolognese: A meat-based sauce that originates from Bologna, typically made with ground beef or pork and tomato sauce.
  • Bruschetta: Toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with tomatoes, olive oil, and other ingredients.
  • Cannoli: Crisp pastry tubes filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and often chocolate chips or candied fruit.
  • Carbonara: A pasta dish made with eggs, cheese, and bacon or pancetta.
  • Cassata: An ice cream bombe typically made with ricotta cheese and candied fruit.
  • Cacciatore: This term means “hunter” in Italian and is used to describe a dish that is made with meat that has been cooked in a tomato sauce with mushrooms, onions, and herbs.
  • Focaccia: A crusty flatbread that is often topped with olive oil and herbs.
  • Gelato: Italian-style ice cream that is made with milk, sugar, and flavorings.
  • Gnocchi: Small dumplings made from potatoes or ricotta cheese.
  • Marinara: A tomato-based sauce that is typically seasoned with garlic, onions, and herbs.
  • Minestrone: A vegetable soup that often includes beans, pasta, and other ingredients.
  • Mozzarella di bufala: Fresh cheese made from water-buffalo milk that is commonly used in pizzas and salads.
  • Pasta: This is a type of dough that is made from flour, water, and eggs. Pasta is a staple food in Italian cuisine and can be served in a variety of dishes, such as pasta with tomato sauce, pasta with pesto, and pasta salad.
  • Pesto: A sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
  • Risotto: An Italian rice dish that is cooked slowly with broth and other ingredients, such as mushrooms or seafood.
  • Soffritto: A mixture of chopped vegetables that is cooked in oil or butter. Soffritto is often used as a base for sauces or soups.
  • Tagliatelle: A type of pasta that is made from eggs and flour. Tagliatelle is typically served with a meat sauce or a cream sauce.
  • Tiramisu: A dessert made with layers of ladyfingers, espresso, and mascarpone cheese.

How to start italian cooking as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

Buy an Italian cookbook. It is more kitchen friendly and safe than a laptop or a smartphone. Also, it will always be around to inspire you.


Get read(y).

Italian cooking is a celebration of produce and seasons: One of the secrets of Italian cooking is using fresh and seasonal ingredients that are in season. This gives the dishes more flavor, nutrition and authenticity. Italians love to shop at local markets or farmers’ markets, or grow their own herbs and vegetables if they have space. They also cook specific recipes in different times of the year according to produce availability. For example, mushrooms are typically a fall food, while eggplants are the ultimate summer vegetable. This changes from one region to another, though.


Step-by-step tutorials.


Further reading.


Go-tos for information.

The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’re hungry again.

George Miller


Nothing like a film for inspiration.


Get a clue.

What are the essential ingredients and equipment for Italian cooking?

Some of the essential ingredients for Italian cooking are olive oil, garlic, onion, tomato, basil, oregano, parsley, cheese, pasta, rice, bread and wine. Some of the essential equipment for Italian cooking are a chef’s knife, a cutting board, a large pot, a skillet, a colander, a wooden spoon and a cheese grater.

What are some easy and delicious Italian dishes to start with?

Some of the easy and delicious Italian dishes to start with are spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil), caprese salad (tomato, mozzarella and basil salad), minestrone soup (vegetable and bean soup), frittata (egg and vegetable omelet), pizza margherita (pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil) and tiramisu (coffee and mascarpone cream dessert).


Smart assistance.

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YouTube | The Tasty App Now Available On Android!
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YouTube | Kitchen Stories – Recipes App | Cooking, Baking & more

Italian cooking is a social and emotional experience: Italian food is not just about eating, but also about sharing, enjoying and expressing emotions. Italian cooking is a social and emotional experience that brings people together around the table. Italians love to spend hours eating, talking and laughing with their family and friends. They also have a passion and pride for their food that is contagious and inspiring. Italian food is a way of life that reflects their values, traditions and personality.


Essentials to have.


Get smart.

Near You

Get together.

Italian cooking is diverse and regional: Italian cuisine is very diverse and forms part of the healthy Mediterranean style of cooking. But what makes Italian cuisine so unique is that it varies from one region to another, reflecting the history, culture and geography of each area. For example, northern Italy is known for its rich and creamy dishes with butter, cheese and meat, while southern Italy is known for its spicy and tangy dishes with olive oil, tomato and seafood. Each region has its own specialties, such as pizza from Naples, risotto from Milan, pesto from Genoa and tiramisu from Veneto.


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Additional advice for beginners.