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Common misconceptions of popular Italian dishes

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Despite how it’s commonly served outside of Italy, an authentic Carbonara sauce should be made using eggs and cheese – without cream.A proper Italian pizza usually has a thin, crisp crust and is baked in a wood-fired oven.Italian dressing? The only two ingredients in the salad dressings Italians use are olive oil and vinegar.

Italy has created some of the world’s most well-known and beloved dishes. Pastas, pizzas and espressos are just some examples that almost everyone is familiar with. But is that Italian food you’re consuming truly as authentic as the restaurant or packaging claims? Or are you just eating a variant that’s been adapted to local tastes? Here are some common myths about Italian food, and how to cook them the authentic way.

Pasta

Many Italian menus around the world feature “cream-based pastas” such as Carbonara and Alfredo. But cream is in fact not a common ingredient for pastas in Italy, and many good quality restaurants in the country have banned its use. Alfredo sauce doesn’t even originate from Italy, and you won’t find it on any menu there.

Carbonara

Despite how it’s commonly served outside of Italy, an authentic Carbonara sauce should be made using eggs and cheese – without cream.
Photo Credit: Mattes Boch

An authentic Carbonara is made by whisking eggs and grated pecorino or parmigiano cheese together with cooked pancetta, or bacon. To ensure that the eggs do not set or turn into scrambled eggs, the egg and cheese mixture should be added to the pasta over very minimum heat and tossed with the pancetta and any rendered fat from it. The result is a lighter and more palatable carbonara.

For such delicate sauces, a cooking hob like the Electrolux EHD68210P Maxisense induction cooktop is best suited to control the heat required. Induction provides the advantage of being able to cook at a precise, consistent temperature and the Maxisense’s Touch and Slide controls provides an intuitive way to set the desired heat very precisely.

Pizza

Deep dish and pan pizza? Oh mio Dio! With the exception of Neapolitan pizza – whose thicker crust is still nowhere as thick as a pan pizza’s – all Italian pizza crusts come in only one size: thin. They are usually hand-tossed and cooked in a wood fire oven with minimal toppings, so diners can savour the individual flavours. Italians also typically do not use a lot of meat on their pizza, so that meat lovers’ option on the menu may not be the most authentic showcase of Italian pizza.

Pizza

A proper Italian pizza usually has a thin, crisp crust and is baked in a wood-fired oven.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vegetables

Italian dressing on salads is, ironically, not Italian. Like Alfredo, the dressing is unknown in Italy, where only salt, olive oil and vinegar are used, with the occasional pinch of pepper. Its cured meats aside, Italian cuisine is characterized by its use of fresh ingredients, and its dressings and herbs are no exception.

Olive oil

Italian dressing? The only two ingredients in the salad dressings Italians use are olive oil and vinegar.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Electrolux ESE7007BF refrigerator contains three full-width crispers with adjustable humidity controls to keep different produce garden fresh as long as possible. Its multi-airflow system ensures temperatures are consistent throughout the fridge so temperature variances cause food spoilage does not occur. This enables you to enjoy fresh Italian-style salads and meals right in the comfort of your home kitchen.

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