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Italian cuisine is rich in culinary traditions that belong to different regions.
Sauces and gravies are an Italian specialty and they are often recreated all over the world.
Crossing our entire Italian peninsula from North to South and from East to West, you could be amazed by the number of typical sauces used to season pasta and other food specialties.
Among the basic preparations of Italian cuisine, these sauces and gravies cannot be missing. These condiments, classics of our country's repertoire, can be revisited according to your needs and tastes.
The pesto Genoese pesto is a typical Italian condiment, excellent for preparing vegetarian recipes. For a quick meal you can try our Monte Pollino ready-to-eat basil pesto sauce, made with genuine ingredients. Pesto is a sauce that can be eaten cold or hot; in addition to being used as a condiment for pasta, it can be used to dress rice salads, create croutons for appetizers, and flavor vegetables. Having pesto at home can be a convenient way to add flavor to other sauces, such as tomato sauce. This recipe from the Ligurian culinary tradition is very easy to make.
Basil, pine nuts, garlic and a good extra virgin olive oil are the few ingredients of this preparation. The basil leaves, washed and dried, are pounded in a mortar together with the toasted pine nuts, garlic and a pinch of salt.
The beating with the pestle is started by crushing the ingredients on the walls of the mortar. It is pounded well, until a green mixture is obtained, and then it is transferred to a bowl where the oil is slowly added.
The choice of oil for homemade pesto is very important. Try adding a little pesto to homemade pizza as well and you will see that the particular flavor will win you over.
Sicily is a land rich in flavors and culture. Among the various sauces, we find the Sicilian pesto. This sauce is obtained by mincing peeled almonds with dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, a spoonful of pecorino cheese, a pinch of salt, pepper and some extra virgin olive oil. Try our Campo d’Oro Trapanese Pesto, made with the traditional Sicilian recipe perfect as spaghetti sauce or on toasted bread as an appetizer.
The tomato, king of summer, gives life to one of the most famous Italian preserves to be made at home and to be consumed throughout the winter: tomato sauce. Making tomato sauce is for many Italians a ritual, a childhood memory, when the grandparents transformed large quantities of tomatoes into sauces and purees and boiled the glass jars on a high flame to make them last a long time, at least until the following summer. Used to dress simple spaghetti, a pizza or a red focaccia, when combined with a brilliant basil leaf it immediately becomes the symbol of the Italian tricolor.
To obtain a good italian spaghetti tomato sauce, a few simple quality ingredients are enough to create an explosion of simple flavors that guarantee a tasty meal. In our store you can find different brands of tomato sauces. One of the most famous in Italy is Mutti, made only with high quality San Marzano tomatoes and directly imported into the USA for our beloved customers.
Each Italian family has its own version of the tomato paste: simple peeled tomatoes, with or without onion, or more special ones with the addition of some peppers. In any case, this is the symbol that makes Italian gastronomy recognized all over the world. However, many often forget the origin of this lively vegetable: brought to Europe by Hernán Cortés, it spread in Italy starting from the Medici court.
From here it spread widely in the South where today most of the varieties of tomatoes present in Italy are found.
Let's discover the curiosities that have made it the most famous sauce in the world. The production of tomato preserves and preparations can be associated with the city of Turin.
This is where the great Italian fruits were exported to the European continent, starting from the Turin market of Porta Palazzo.
However, few know that this is where the process of canning peeled tomatoes in metal cans was born. These are simply tomatoes without the skin and preserved in their vegetation water, suitable for the preparation of sauces.
Thanks to the use of peeled tomatoes today in Italian gastronomy, the realization of tomato sauce has sped up to enrich many dishes of the Italian table and the recipe book of every family, but the tomato sauce is not just for pizza and spaghetti; it is also used in Italian cuisine for many meat and fish preparations.
A typical tomato sauce of Italian cuisine is the Puttanesca sauce. It is mainly prepared in Lazio and Campania. The presence of ingredients such as capers, anchovies and olives gives a very strong flavor to this dish. To prepare this sauce, you need to brown a clove of minced garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil, add the chopped anchovies and a little chili. After about ten minutes, add the olives, cut into small pieces or slices, and the capers. Arrabbiata sauce is a tasty tomato-based sauce with a spicy touch from the addition of plenty of chopped chili. It's a great sauce to use with so many dishes - or to take your spaghetti night to the next level.
Pasta arrabbiata is a typical Roman dish characterized by the presence of garlic and chili. It seems that the name “pasta arrabbiata” (angry) derives from the fact that, by eating a plate, one can turn red like when one is in the throes of a fit of anger.
Vodka sauce originated in Italy in the mid-70s in a restaurant in Bologna, the "Dante", where a version of pasta flambé was prepared in front of the diners. The success of the dish was such that soon afterwards it was imported to America and then spread all over the world. The delicate balance between vodka and cream makes this dish loved by everyone - even by children. In fact, contrary to what one might imagine, it is not a dish with strong flavors. The alcoholic component of vodka tends to go away once it has evaporated, thus giving the dish an original and much appreciated taste. The original recipe of pasta with vodka sauce was made with penne, the typical cylindrical pasta cut at the ends with parallel oblique cuts. You can buy in our store our special Monte Pollino vodka sauce, made with fresh and tasty ingredients and ready to mix with your favorite pasta shape.
Tomato paste is the whole of the tomato pulp deprived of excess water. It is usually used in small quantities to add a stronger tomato flavor to the recipe without further extending the water load inside. In recipes with tomato paste it is advisable not to add salt or other ingredients with a strong saline taste, as the mixture brings with it a very strong salty taste. In our shop you will find the Mutti tomato double concentrate paste, one of the best on the market in Italy.
Truffle sauce is a truffle cream that is truly unique and delicious. It is a strong flavored sauce that stands out on any dish. It is excellent to try alone, spread on a warm bread, but also to enrich the flavor of appetizers, pasta dishes or meat courses.
Urbani is one of the most famous brands for truffles in Italy and has a great variety of sauces made with black or white truffles.
How to prepare the truffle sauce
The truffle sauce can be purchased ready-made in our Italian grocery store.
The ingredients include black truffle (the characteristic quality black summer truffle, scorzone), vegetable broth, oil and a pinch of pepper. Or you can prepare it at home with a few simple steps. Few ingredients are needed: truffle, extra virgin olive oil and vegetable broth. We recommend using fresh and not too precious truffles, which deserve to be consumed in purity.
Instead of the white truffle, therefore, the black truffle or the bianchetto truffle are ideal, since they keep the aromas well during cooking.
To prepare the sauce, start by carefully cleaning the truffle, then grate it with a mesh grater. In a saucepan with a little oil, fry the truffle for a minute, then add about a ladle of vegetable broth, according to the size of the truffle. Cook everything over very low heat until the broth has retreated and the truffle has become very soft. The truffle cream is ready to be added to your preparations.
However, it is advisable to consume it immediately and not keep it, but we are sure this will not be a difficult task. Being a ready-to-use sauce with a strong flavor and aroma, the truffle sauce really lends itself in a thousand ways.
To enjoy it to its fullest intensity, we advise you to enjoy it plain as an appetizer. The ideal is to spread it on a slice of crispy warm bread.
Alternatively, you can add it to your preparations to perfume first courses, main courses and side dishes with truffles.
The truffle sauce, however, is suitable for many preparations. Pasta with truffles is simple and always impressive, obtained by transforming the sauce into a tasty sauce for pasta. It will be sufficient to heat the sauce slightly over the heat and then add it to the freshly drained pasta, along with a drizzle of oil.
Alternatively, truffle sauce can be added to meats, roasted or boiled, or as an ingredient in omelets. You can also add it to flavor soups and vegetable soups. In refined recipes, the truffle sauce can be used together with snails, roasted trout or a succulent veal filet.
Recipes with truffle sauce
Truffle is such a versatile ingredient that can be used in all courses, even in desserts. A perfect combination is with sweet creams such as eggnog or mascarpone cream.
Even the truffle sauce can prove to be the gourmet touch.
Try adding it as a finishing touch to a panettone and zabaglione; you will see what a delight it is! The truffle sauce is also perfect for preparing condiments for first courses, perhaps in combination with eggs, cheese and meat.
Pasta and Risotto with truffle sauce
Among the best recipes with this sauce is undoubtedly that of pasta or risotto with truffle sauce, a preparation as simple as it is delicious. To prepare it, simply heat the truffle cream together with a knob of butter in a non-stick pan and add the cream or hot vegetable broth, then you can add the cooked pasta or the rice to make a delicious and posh first course.
Meatballs on truffle sauce
A delicious appetizer where the truffle sauce goes perfectly with the meat are the meatballs on a bed of truffle cream. Potato cream with truffle sauce For a light lunch or dinner, you can use the truffle cream for a delicate cream of potatoes flavored with truffles. To make it, you need to stew the potatoes with the shallot in a pan and cook them together with a little broth for about twenty minutes. When the mixture is soft, season with salt and pepper and blend everything in a blender glass, adding the truffles. For an extra touch of flavor, you can add a little grated pecorino.
Cream and Bechamel
As far as the milk-based sauces in Italy go, the most used are cream and bechamel.
On Pinocchio's pantry you will find Chef Parmalat cream for classic cooking, perfect for flavoring everyday recipes and enhancing the flavor of the individual ingredients. Creamy and homogeneous, it is in fact versatile for all preparations in the kitchen: it is perfect for seasoning first courses such as tortellini or tagliatelle, for softening sauces, for whipping risottos and for making creamy sauces for main courses.
Bechamel is a smooth and soft sauce suitable for enhancing baked vegetables or for dressing cannelloni, lasagna, timbales and crepes. Also very good on baked fish, Chef Béchamel is always ready when you want to cook something different and refined, with the certainty of the result and without the commitment of preparation. The Parmalat Chef Béchamel that you find in our store is made only with natural ingredients and is embellished with cream which gives it an even more delicate taste.
Alfredo sauce is one of the most popular pasta sauces in the United States and a true symbol of Italian cuisine. Today they can be found in restaurants worldwide. You can try our special Sacla’s Alfredo sauce, now available in our store. We have both the original cheesy recipe and also a truffle variant. The famous Fettuccine Alfredo was born in Rome by Alfredo Di Lelio in 1908 in the trattoria of his mother Angelina in Piazza Rosa, where the Alberto Sordi Gallery stands today. It all started when his wife Ines gave birth to their firstborn. The woman was so tired after the birth of little Alfredo II that her husband, worried about her health, did everything to make her regain her strength with healthy and nutritious food: with his own hands he prepared her fettuccine kneaded in semolina and seasoned with very fresh butter garlic and Parmesan cheese.