Italian Cooking - Keep It Simple

By Maria Gedding

For some reason Italian food is often thought of as a fattening food - this is not the case at all! The idea that pasta will make you fat is not really true. As Sophia Loren, who ate spaghetti all her life, says in her book, it is not the pasta that makes you fat, but what you put on top of it. To be honest , a diet that is made up of Italian food, based on Mediterranean food is going to be quite healthy. You do of course need to be aware which Italian foods you can eat, and of course how to prepare the food properly.

Sophia Loren, who was brought up on spaghetti, said in her book that it's not the pasta that makes you fat, it's what you put on top of it. The creamy sauces like Alfredo sauce, if eaten in very large quantities, are of course likely to cause weight gain. The Mediterranean way of preparing food does not rely on the creamy, rich sauces, but use olive oil in place of butter which makes the sauces much more healthy.

Some basic ingredients you need to keep to enable you to prepare healthy Italian food are will include a good quality Italian pasta, olive oil, onions, garlic, fish, lean meat and seafood. You will also want herbs like parsley, oregano and basil. Don't make the mistake of using masses of cheese, just a little parmesan as a topping to your favorite Italian dishes.

There are quite a few light Italian food recipes that you can make with very simple ingredients, here is an example of one that is really easy to make;

Pasta with Tomato Sauce - use any type of pasta that you like. Boil the pasta in water that has been seasoned with salt. Don't overcook the pasta - it must be tender and firm.

For the sauce all you need to do is to chop up an onion, some garlic (to taste), and some tomatoes (or use a tin if you prefer). Use one tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onions and garlic till soft. Then add the tomatoes and cook until all of the ingredients have mixed together well. Then you can add some of your favorite herbs, like basil, oregano or parsley. You can really add any herbs you like, try a few till you come up with the ones you like best. Serve the sauce over the hot pasta and if you want you could sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on to it.

I hope that you can see how easy it is to make a nice, tasty, yet healthy Italian food dish. You will not need any type of accompaniment, such as bread, with this. You can change the taste of the dish by varying the herbs that you use, and you can also try it with various types of pasta. Find the pasta and herbs that you like and you will have found a simple Italian Recipe that can be made very quickly and easily. - 30210

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Italian Restaurants Bellevue; Two Of The Best Establishments In Town

By Luigi DeMarco

Bellevue is endowed with a lovely location and a city full of different types of restaurants. Italian cuisine is represented very well with some elegant establishments all the way to pizza joints. Most of these Italian Restaurants Bellevue are very good and you can find either the dishes that are traditional in Italy or American Italian dishes.

You can find a great restaurant called Ristorante Paradiso's on 110th Avenue downtown near the public library and the square. Lunch and dinner is served and they also have a large room to accommodate around seventy guests. In another area they have a dining room for 10 or 15 guests that is private. Andiamo's prides itself on having an exquisite atmosphere with good wine and food at a price most people can afford. The atmosphere is contemporary and the kitchen is open to the dining area. There is parking right outside the door.

Andiamo's has an impressive menu including an Antipasto salad that serves two with prosciutto, salami, bruschetta, vegetables and olives for about fourteen dollars. Other appetizers include bruchetta, smoked salmon, calamari in marinara, a caprese salad of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella and more. Soups are made daily and a bowl costs seven dollars and fifty cents while a cup is six dollars. They have a variety of salads available including the Andiamo salad that consists of an interesting combination of greens, Gorgonzola, eggplant that has been grilled, red bell pepper roasted in a vinaigrette dressing for seven dollars.

Fish is available and depends on what is fresh at the market. The menu has a chicken section offering chicken parmigiana, chicken Marsala, and chicken Piccata all for around 19 dollars each. These dishes are all made with veal as well. There is a lamb dish and fillet Mignon that costs market cost of the day. The pasta section of the menu is magnificent. A signature dish of the restaurant is a Pear and Gorgonzola ravioli that is served with a Gorgonzola walnut sauce and costs around 20 dollars. There are many other pastas on the menu. There are vegetarian dishes that pair pasta with ricotta and mushrooms with different types of sauces from red to white. There is a multitude of pastas made with seafood and many different types of risotto. The prices might be a little more expensive than some restaurants but the cuisine is impeccable and it is worth the little bit of extra money you may spend.

Another great Italian restaurant in Bellevue is Firenzi Ristorante that has been serving the community since 1992. It looks like a traditional Italian building with terracotta floors and stucco walls. The gentleman that owns the restaurant is extremely friendly as is the rest of the staff and many guests come back again and again.

The menu offers many Italian appetizers like Prosciutto with cheese and olives. Bruschetta with olive oil, tomatoes and basil is offered as well. They have a dish made with squid and peas that is served with tomato sauce. Traditional pasta and bean soup or Pasta Fagioli is served here as well. There are many salads from which to choose including the traditional tomato, fresh mozzarella, with basil to a Romaine salad topped with tomatoes and mushrooms. Appetizers will cost anywhere from 7 to 16 dollars.

The pasta offerings are abundant and include all types of pastas that are smothered in many different sauces such as Alfredo, claim, Pesto, tomato, wine sauce, or mushroom sauce and cost around 14 to 25 dollars. This restaurant also has chicken that is stuffed with cheese and ham in a cream or a wine sauce. They have the regular Marsla, Pizzaiola, and Piccata on the menu too. There is lamb, sausage dishes, quail and a multitude of seafood dishes. The entrees run from 14 to 25 dollars. If you have a sweet tooth you can find desserts at this restaurant that will tickle your tongue. Find Firenzi Ristorante near Bellevue square and visit them at lunch or at dinner time.

Bellevue has a few pizza restaurants and other smaller and chain type Italian Restaurants besides the two above. Firenzi and Andiamo�???, ?s are the restaurants that people go to for great Italian food and have very good reviews from customers. There you will feel like you are visiting Italy right in the middle of Bellevue. - 30210

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Italian Cheeses Are Known Worldwide

By Luigi DeMarco

Italian cheeses are some of the best in the world. And while we're all familiar with the top few selections, from our pizza and sandwich consumption, it may surprise you to know there are around 400 different Italian cheeses to choose from. And when it comes to quality and good tasting cheese, the Italians have a great passion for delivering on it, and they do.

From Sicily and from Tuscany, they make the best parmigiano and mozzarella going. Their provolone is beyond compare. They make so many different cheeses by mixing up the types of milk they use, and the processing methods. They utilize sheep milk, and goat milk, cow's milk, and buffalo. Their cheeses are known for their fragrance and great texture. They can be used for cooking or shredding alike.

The quality of their cheese is taken very seriously by the Italians. One thing to watch for when you shop for cheese, is their quality assurance stamp on the label. This is known either as the PDO - 'protected designation of origin', or the IGT - 'protected geographic indication. If you see this you know it' a product of good quality. If you shop for wine, you'll find that wines use these same designations.

Italian cheeses are some of the best because of the perfecting of their technique. If you begin to study these cheeses, you're almost sure to hear about their famous 'Bel Paese'. The word itself means 'beautiful country' in Italian. And this cheese is one of the most famous and popular ones to ever come out of Italy. It's place of origin was in Milan, in 'Melzo'. But now it's made for the most part in Lombardy. It's cow's milk cheese intended for table use, but cooks up just as well.

The Italians are definitely passionate about their cheese. They have made it up in the Alpine mountains, where they perfected their methods. It was an isolated affair, but what they brought off the mountain was literally gold made from milk. Caves were used to keep things cold since the idea of refrigeration back then was just a new concept.

They still use many of the old methods and tools today. Their cutting boards, wooden shelves, oils, water, salt, and miniature hammers are still the basic tools for production. Their cheese still are made with the three common ingredients of milk, some rennet, and some salt. They would interchange milks to produce different types of cheeses.

Anytime you think about making cheese, it all begins with the milk. Cheese is simply the coagulation of milk. Ricotta is derived from cream and milk whey. But the four main sources of milk in Italy are the buffalo, the cow, the goat, and the sheep. But were you to want something even different from that, cheeses can be made from the milk of camels, reindeer, and even yaks.

Italian cheeses are some of the best by far, and it comes from a long tradition of cheese making. They take great pride in their work. So many people go through life eating and enjoying this great craftsmanship, without ever learning anything about it. It's a shame, because it really is an interesting study. Anyone who wants to learn more about the Italians and their cheese, can go online and find tons of information to enlighten them. Next time you eat that pizza, think 'Italian. - 30210

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The Different Types Of Italian Cheeses

By Jim Antonio

Italian cheeses are some of the best in the World and all have so much flavor whether eaten alone or paired with your favorite dishes.

If smoky flavor and a mild taste is what you are looking for. The Provolone is the cheese you need. This is aged for 30 days and has enhanced flavors as well as being a delightful addition to many a sandwich or recipe.

Look for Provolone cheese's that hold a very distinct and rich yellow color within them, These are the the most flavored and the freshest. No grill cheese sandwich should be made with any other cheeses and it is wonderful melted on dishes too.

It takes up to 1 year for the Asiago cheese to rich it's fullest flavor. It has a texture much firmer than other cheese's and is often used within casseroles or side dishes shredded. It has a very noticeable pungency to it but you will be amazed at how mild a cheese it really is. Past dishes would not be the same without this added within them.

The more popular cheese called Parmigiano Reggiano is a fine example of Italy's excellent cheese makers quality. It is made flavor enhanced by adding many Italian spices into the mix. Sometimes this can be Bologna or even a Parma blending.

It can be aged for up to 3 years. Pasta dishes would not be called Italian if this cheese were not included in the recipe's. It truly makes the dish and adds decadent flavor to anything. Buying it whole will give you the most flavor and it will be one of the freshest compared to that of buying it sliced. Casseroles and stews can be made and the Parmigiano rind when added gives off even more richness to the flavors of the dish.

Outside Milan is a town named Gorgonzola and you guessed it, Gorgonzola cheese made it's debut here. It is known as the Italian version of a great but much creamier Bleu cheese. American Bleu cheese is more dryer and not so rich in texture. It is a great addition to salads, fruit dishes or even as a cheese platter to accompany some of Italy's finest wines.

Everyone has heard of Mozzarella cheese and has used it in at least one Italian recipe they have made. Most Mozzarella can be found stored in the form of brine or water soaked balls. These can be some of the freshest on the markets. This can be used in casseroles, soups or salads as well, even in side dishes such as stuffed tomatoes, eggplant Parmesan etc.

A Italian Caprese is made with this cheese and adding in olive oil, tomatoes and basil. This a a true cheese lover's delight in flavors and should be tried at least once by everyone. This cheese can also be found packaged as shredded and in block forms too.

Sheep's milk is the main ingredient within the Pecorino cheeses. It can be used in many dishes that calls for a sharp cheese. It originates mainly from Sardinia and from Tuscany.

A more soft textured cheese is that of Crescenza. It does not take long for this cheese to reach aging. Milan is where some of the best quality Italian cheeses originated from. A few other names this cheese is known as are either Robiola or the famous Certosa cheeses. A fine wine is made that much tastier with the addition of a fine and well aged cheese from Italy. - 30210

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Italian Cheeses Are Known Worldwide

By Luigi DeMarco

Learning about tasty Italian cheeses can be more involved than you think. Especially when you consider that there are about 400 of them. We're all familiar with a few that we put on our pizzas and sandwiches, but most people are unaware of the wide variety of them that actually exist. I think it's safe to say that the Italian cheeses are among the best in the world.

From Sicily to Tuscany the Italians make some of the best parmigiano and provolone in the world. Their Mozzarella is a household name. And again, these don't even scratch the surface of the number of cheeses they actually make. They use goat's milk, sheep's milk, buffalo milk, and cow in their processes. All their cheeses have great texture and fragrance, and are good for both shredding and cooking.

The Italians take a lot of pride in their cheese quality. And if you go shopping for a quality Italian cheese, just look for the classifications on the label. These are the 'PDO', which means Protected Designation of Origin. And the other is IGT, which means the Protected Geographic Indication. This is known as their stamp of approval as far as quality assurance. Wine uses the same indicators.

Italian cheeses are known worldwide mostly due to the years of perfecting the techniques. They have managed to produce some cheese that are actually famous. Like the 'Bel Paese'. This cheese is very famous and extremely popular, and the name itself translates into 'beautiful country' in the Italian language. Originating in Milan, it's now made in Lombardy, and was intended to be a table cheese. It's made from the milk of the cow.

The Italians really have a passion for their cheese making. From way up in the Alpine mountains, they have refined their processes, and brought them down to a world that loves what they've done. In the old days they would go to the mountains and practice their craft. They had to use caves to keep their cheeses cool, because refrigeration was a pretty new concept.

They still use many of the old methods and tools today. Their cutting boards, wooden shelves, oils, water, salt, and miniature hammers are still the basic tools for production. Their cheese still are made with the three common ingredients of milk, some rennet, and some salt. They would interchange milks to produce different types of cheeses.

Regardless of what type of cheese they're making, the starting point is the milk. When all is said and done, cheese is coagulated milk. In the case of Ricotta, cream is used along with milk whey. The Italians commonly use four types of milk, which come from the cow, the goat, the sheep, and the buffalo. But some types of cheeses can also be made with other milks, like camel, or yak, or reindeer.

Italian cheeses are known worldwide, yet many Americans go about their lives enjoying the fruits of Italian labor, without ever learning about the processes or history behind them. It's a very interesting subject for study. If you'd like to learn more about it, you're only a few mouse-clicks away. The internet is loaded with information about the Italians and their wonderful cheese. - 30210

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The Best Ways To Find Good Italian Restaurants Bellevue Offers

By Luigi DeMarco

If you are looking for the best Italian restaurants Bellevue provides, you should look through the many options available so you can chose the perfect one for you. When you know exactly what you want from your restaurant, the process of choosing the right restaurant is much easier.

The factors you will want to consider for your restaurant, is the location, the types of food they serve, and the size of the restaurant. If you are having a party, you will want to make sure the place you choose can conveniently fit all of your party guests.

If you pay more for a fine dining restaurant, you should know you will not necessarily receive better food for the price. At nice restaurants, you are often paying for the extra ambience rather than an increased quality in the food.

Customer reviews are available online. They can also be a great way to find out more about a restaurant before you dine with them. By doing this you can completely avoid disappointment by making sure the restaurant you choose provides a great service. Reviews will tell you what your experience is going to be like. If you find people raving about a particular restaurant, you will know they are good.

Look into customer reviews for a better understanding of what your experience will be like if you go with a particular restaurant. When you know what the experience will be like, you can choose the perfect restaurant for the type of event you are having.

If you make sure the restaurant gets good reviews online, and you view the restaurant for yourself beforehand, you will certainly receive an excellent level of service with the restaurant you pick. Before you make your final decision though, you should make sure the restaurant serves the dish you want the most too.

Once you have found a restaurant with a lot of good reviews, and you have found a restaurant designed the way you want, take a good look at the menu. Then, you will know exactly what type of foods the restaurant serves, and you can make sure they provide your favorite Italian food.

Another important factor you should consider before you choose your Italian restaurant, is the type of alcohol you want the restaurant to provide. Some restaurants have great wine selections. These selections can make your entire dinner experience exceptional too.

If you are looking into an Italian restaurant for a group party, then you will want to make sure your restaurant can handle the amount of people in your party. It is a good idea to get a reservation at the restaurant you are going to as well. When you make a reservation at a restaurant, you will be able to talk to the operators of the business and find out how many people they can accompany at once.

The goal when judging an Italian restaurant is to find a place that has the perfect type of food, atmosphere, and space for the dining experience you are trying to create. When you take these factors into consideration, you will find the perfect restaurant for you. - 30210

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Great eating at a Bellevue Italian Restaurant

By Luigi DeMarco

There is nothing more enjoyable for a person who loves to eat than to find a traditional and exciting restaurant. The Italian Food Bellevue provides all of the excitement that one would expect to see in a traditional kitchen and the food that makes one want to return before they have left.

Visiting this authentic Italian restaurant once is the beginning of a long relationship with both the food and the people who work in this wonderful place. The smells of the restaurant begin to call to an individual from the time they are within viewing distance of the front door.

The sour chef arrives early every day to create pounds and pounds of fresh egg pasta. This pasta is the embodiment of Northern Italian style cuisine and is used in almost every dish throughout the meal.

There are no "fast" foods at Italian Restaurant Bellevue. Every dish is thought through and carefully planned to bring the guest a taste of Italy that they will not only remember but yearn to return to again and again.

Sitting at a table that has been dressed in the glow of a candle one begins to relax and enjoy the surroundings of the Bellevue Italian Restaurant. Each smell seems to have it's own place within the restaurant and blends into a mouthwatering aroma as each plate is delivered to it's owner.

The menu is designed in the a style that enhances each distinct style of the different regions of Italy. One can find Northern Italian cuisine which has a more delicate French influence. The foods use butter, cream, risotto, and fresh egg pasta.

All of the ingredients used in the menu selections offer fresh, organic herbs and spices. This, coupled with the style that they are cooked in makes each dish a unique and distinct pleasure to eat.

When one receives their antipasto the tastebuds are immediately aroused by the blend of spices, flavors, and oils that are blended with the Italian ingredients creating the hot and cold appetizer.

The fresh pasta, rissoto, soup, or other selections of the primo course provide one with a hot dish that is both filling and tasty. A person could finish this dish and feel that they have had a great meal.

The Secondo course offers one a fabulous fish, veal, lamb, or vegetarian dish that is filling and scrumptous.

The Contorno provides one with a salad or Italian cooked vegetables. The way that these vegetables are prepared is nothing like anywhere else.

Dessert is one of several Italian favorites. Ice Cream, a bowl of exotic fruit, or something sweet to go with the wine of the evening.

Throughout the meal one is provided with wine that brings out the flavor in each dish. The staff are attentive to the needs of each customer and yet make everyone feel that they are special and that their needs are being met. The effort of the staff, chef, and other employees of the Italian Restaurant Bellevue make one sure to return. All of the warmth and friendliness of the Italian people are brought together in this wonderful restaurant. - 30210

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