Oh sure, going out to Sam & Louie’s for some delicious, fast Italian food is great pretty much all the time. But as you probably know, a ton of great Italian cooking happens at home—where many of our iconic dishes were originally created! And if you’re ready to try your hand at making some tasty Italian food at home, you’ll definitely need the right tools to make it come out just perfect. These are the most indispensable tools in every Italian kitchen.
GOOD (SHARP) KNIVES
Good classic Italian food is based on heavy vegetables and meats. No doubt that he best tools to chop all of those root vegetables and fresh cuts of beef and pork are good sharp knives. Good knives, an old Italian phrase, means heavy quality knives that won’t bend or break apart no matter how many butternut squash or turnips you’ve got to chop through. Keeping them sharp is critical for clean slices of your steak, as dull knives are less safe. In fact they can get stuck or slip, whereas sharp knives slice cleanly through whatever you’re cooking. Knives are where all good Italian cooking starts!
HEAVY WOODEN SPOONS
So many different kinds of Italian dishes utilize a sauce component in them. This is true whether you’re starting with a basic garlic, onions, and olive oil or a heavy pasta sauce rich with tomatoes and fresh basil (can you smell it? Yum!) You’ll need heavy wooden spoons, wide and strong to stir up even your thinnest soups. Good wooden spoons are absolutely key to have, as when you’re pushing pounds of meatballs around in the sauces, you’ll need something that won’t strain your wrist, and can lift heavy meatballs and pork cuts.
This one is a little less known, a microplane. A microplane is like a super fine cheese grater. It’s on a handle and is the perfect device for adding fresh lemon zest into your Italian pastries, or grating garlic into your pizza sauce. It’s the ultimate fine-shredding tool, ready to be used all the time. Microplanes aren’t expensive either, and they’re dishwasher safe, so you can just drop them in in the machine once you’ve finished. How easy is that?
That’s right, while not a traditional Italian tool, modern Italian masters of cuisine have found a million uses of a great set of gripping tongs. Whether you’re turning meatballs in oil to brown them evenly, or trying to pull the herb cachet from your pasta e fagioli, tongs make it easy to move ingredients around, keeping your hands free from popping oil and scalding sauces. Invest in a good pair of tongs before you dive into a new recipe!
A MORTAR AND PESTLE
It’s true! From the modern tongs to ancient tools, a mortar and pestle is a critical Italian kitchen tool, whether you need to pulverize your rosemary for meatballs or grind some minced onion into a fine powder for even cooking into your sauces. An old-school stone or marble mortar and pestle will do wonders to grind your spices into the finest possible textures, the best for adding subtle hints of flavors in everything you make!
There they are! The top five most useful tools in every Italian kitchen. Pick up a selection of these tools online and with a little practice, you’ll be a master chef in no time! But don’t forget if a recipe doesn’t turn out quite the way you planned, Sam & Louie’s is happy to be your delicious Italian dinner backup. Happy cooking!