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A Masterpiece of Simplicity – the Italian Kitchen

14 January, 2018

A skilled artist takes pride not only in his creation but also in his tools. Each paintbrush, each instrument, each sculpting knife is chosen to bring a masterpiece to life. This passion for perfection defines the kitchens of Italian cooks. Amid simmering pots of tomato sauce and counters draped in flour-dusted pasta lay the tools to create a meal full of history, tradition and flavors.

High-tech, top-of-the line gadgets aren’t important here. What you find in the kitchen of Italian home cooks is what was there generations ago. Authentic Italian food is prepared with tools and hands trained in the richness of tradition. Nonna doesn’t need the latest gizmo or expensive appliance. She needs the worn handle of her wooden spoon or the sharpened edge of her mezzaluna.

Italian cooking is about flavor, not flashiness. If you have the right ingredients and the right tools, you can cook with passion. Below is a list of the Top 5 Utensils you might find in nonna’s kitchen.

  1. Wooden spoon – specifically one with a hole in it. This type of spoon is extremely versatile and used for stirring everything from marinara sauce to creamy risotto.
  2. Rolling pin – homemade pasta would be near impossible without this, not to mention many Italian desserts.
  3. Mezzaluna – this crescent shaped blade chops garlic and herbs with ease.
  4. Colander – after cooking, you use this to drain the pasta water.
  5. Grater – perfect for grating parmgiano cheese and dark chocolate for Italian sweets.

Italian cooking is from the heart. The right tools bring to life recipes that have been shared across generations. The 5 items above are not rare or hard to find — chances are you have some in your kitchen right now! So, why not channel your inner Italian chef and make a masterpiece tonight? For inspiration, check out our guide to fresh Italian ingredients here.

Want to see what a master can do with these humble tools? Join one of our delicious food tours in Little Italy. Let our own Italian-born chefs be your inspiration. Your belly will say grazie!

Our guide was simply amazing!!! He was well animated, very accommodating, and extremely personable. He was quite a character, in a fun and exciting way. I have nothing but positive things to say about my tour experience. I highly recommend choosing Little Italy Tours to be your tour guide! — VM, Bonita, CA
This is a MUST See and Do attraction in SD. Even members of our group who were born here, were blown away by the City and Neighborhood's History and stories. It was like we were transported back in time. The company and our guide did an Amazing Job!!! Our Group of 20+ can't stop raving about it! —Lisa B. Chula Vista, CA
What a ball! My colleagues and I took the Little Italy tour for our office party and a bit of team-building. We had so much fun. Our guide was amazing. We learned so much about pizza and Italian cuisine and Little Italy's influence in San Diego. We ate, we learned, we drank, and we had a ball! I would highly recommend taking a tour with Little Italy. Grazie mille!!! — Robin D. San Diego, CA
What an amazing and engaging tour guide we had! The best of the best! I feel in love with Italy all over again. The pizza, pasta and gelato was as tasty as could be. Their cooking class is next on my list. Ciao! —Marlo V. Las Vegas, NV
My work department did this tour as part of our holiday celebrations and had a great time! Our tour guide was very informative and energetic. We learned all about where pizza came from and each stop taught us something new and allowed us to try pizza from a different region. You will leave full and educated! —Sheila S. Boston, MA
Best hour and a half out of a 9 day trip. Thanks to our guide for an entertaining and informative tour of Little Italy! —Duane L. Duluth, MN
We had a WONDERFUL tour this morning with our guide!! We all, ages from 14 to 53, had such a special and fun time learning about the history of Little Italy... We will DEFINITELY schedule something else with this group. It was truly the highlight of our vacation! —Suzy H. Irvine, CA