The 10 commandments of Italian Cooking

Italian cooking

These stern warnings were put together by Academia Barilla, a research and education branch of Italy’s Barilla Group. They have been thoroughly rephrased for maximum clarity and comments have been added. Still, the sentiment remains. These rules have been devised by people who care about Italian cooking a lot. You will notice that some of these recommendations are based on thorough understanding of the anatomy of the proper Italian meal, so you may wish to familiarized yourself with this chart. Keep in mind that no institution on Earth should have the right to deprive you of what you love to cook and eat. However, if you choose to violate these rules you may not call your meals truly Italian.

1. THOU SHALL NOT DRINK CAPPUCCINO WITH YOUR MEAL
Italian coffee is usually consumed after a meal and it is ok to substitute it with cappuccino at that time. However, cappuccino is traditionally a breakfast drink and it goes best with pastries.

2. THOU SHALL NOT TREAT PASTA AND RISOTTO AS SIDE DISHES
In the structural framework of a proper Italian meal, pasta and risotto are served separately. The practice of serving them as a side dish is widespread around the world, but it is considered almost sacrilegous by Italians.

3. THOU SHALL NOT ADD OIL TO WATER WHEN COOKING PASTA
Pasta dressings and oil must be added after pasta has been drained.

4. THOU SHALL NOT ADD KETCHUP TO PASTA
Sure, ketchup is made of tomatoes. But it is fundamentally wrong to add it to pasta!

5. THOU SHALL NOT USE SPAGHETTI INSTEAD OF TAGLIATELLE FOR PASTA BOLOGNESE
The Italian cuisine has firmly established pairings of different kinds of pasta with various sauces. Based on this tradition, there is simply no such thing as Spaghetti Bolognese — only Tagliatelle Bolognese.

6. THOU SHALL NOT PAIR CHICKEN WITH PASTA.
Pasta and chicken dishes, another international favorite, apparently do not exist in the homeland of Italian cooking.

7. THOU SHALL NOT CALL CAESAR SALAD AN ITALIAN DISH
Caesar salad, despite having been supposedly invented by an Italian named Caesar Cardini, is virtually unknown in Italy.

8. THOU SHALL NOT USE RED AND WHITE CHECKERED TABLECLOTHS
Common in restaurants outside of Italy, this style of tablecloths is not something that Italians actually prefer or use.

9. THOU SHALL NOT ORDER FETTUCCINE ALFREDO IN ITALY
Because nobody will serve it! Although this dish was invented in Italy, it is largely unknown there.

10. THOU SHALL RESPECT TRADITION.
To put it simply, do what mamma says. Traditions of Italian cooking are ancient and revered. They exist because they have been proven to work.

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