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The rules for choosing between puree, pulp and concentrate – Italian Cuisine

Without taking anything away from berries, avocados, seeds & c, the tomato it's a true one superfood, which is good for skin, heart, eyes. An American immigrant in reverse: arrived from overseas, never as in the Bel Paese did his fortune and is still king among the vegetables and in our local cuisine. Today we find it all year round, but for the fresh one it is good to wait for the right season, the summer of course, when plants can enjoy a real sun and release all their taste and nutritional properties.

In the other seasons we are still happy, because we have available the past, an all-Italian ancient ritual, the pulp and the concentrate. Three wonderful ways to keep the tomato all year long. But attention: one is not worth the other !!! Or rather, true connoisseurs are able to grasp the nuances that exist between the different products derived from tomatoes and, therefore, can decide which choose between these to make a recipe normal, everyday, or a gourmet dish.

The guidelines below have been drawn by Mutti in collaboration with i Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe Italians (even before JRE Italia was born). The ten talented young chefs have studied, tasted and cooked different products, coming up with a sort of decalogue for optimal use.

Here the advice and direct opinions of some sommelier chef.

Pulp, past and concentrated: differences and use in the kitchen

It is the least processed product: the tomato is peeled and cold-rolled, the other key steps consist in hot packaging and pasteurization.
Taste and use
It is a semi-sweet food, to be used as a base for other preparations and it is also the fast condiment par excellence. The ideal is to use it raw or undercooked for quick bruschetta or to prepare sauces or stew.
Excellent also for braised meat, stews, fish soups or cod. It has a fresh and slightly acidic taste that is well taken to dilute the fat component of other foods, such as meat or fish for example.
The sommelier advises
Marcello Trentini recommends it in seafood dishes, because it harmonizes the taste of the tomato with the delicacy and intensity of the fish.

The tomatoes are shredded, heated to very high temperatures for a short time, sieved, slightly concentrated and finally packed.
Taste and use
It has sweet notes, creamy density and intense but light taste. It gives the best of itself in the preparations where you want to taste the taste of the tomato. It is therefore ideal in the great Italian first courses such as pasta all'amatriciana, angry and puttanesca. It also makes good cold velvety, to be served with croutons and a drizzle of oil.
The sommelier advises
As Eros Picco suggests, the most expert can use it to prepare sophisticated jellies and coulis. For example, he makes crispy tomato leaves with which he enriches his appetizers.


The first part of the processing is the same as the one for the pass, but subsequently and based on the level of concentration to be obtained, we continue with sophisticated evaporation processes, which eliminate the aqueous parts.
Taste and use
It has a marked and unmistakable color, very high density and a lively and intense flavor. According to the chefs interviewed in the Mutti project, it is a strategic product. In fact, its characteristics make it the preferred product to give sauces and sauces, in addition to the unique flavorful notes, even a more vivid color. With the concentrate combined with the pulp sauces, meat sauce, stews and stews take on an extraordinary gustatory value. It can also be used to accompany boiled meat and sauces for crustaceans.
The sommelier advises
Marianna Vitale grates on finished dishes, using a special technique that exploits the vacuum, turning the concentrate into a solid block.

Barbara Roncarolo
September 25, 2014
updated February 2019
from Aurora Quinto


Champagne on Valentine's Day: the 10 rules not to ruin the toast – Italian Cuisine

The party of lovers requires a glass of bubbles, but be careful not to run into this series of possible mistakes

The candles are ready to be lit, some rose petal has been tactically scattered here and there between the various rooms of the house and the menu has been carefully developed, between voluptuous snacks and aphrodisiac suggestions. What is missing, therefore, to complete the picture of the perfect Valentine's dinner? The bubbles, of course. For the most romantic evening of the year, it is better to take a few whims and to aim for a quality sparkling wine. Maybe choosing a champagne, as tradition suggests, for a toast characterized by elegance and complicity. Attention, however: a fine bottle, ça va sans dire, also requires a series of attentions worthy of its rank. So it is better to avoid mistakes by beginners and review carefully these 10 basic rules.

1) The right temperature

A champagne must be served fresh, of course. But beware: fresh does not mean a step away from turning into a giant bottle-shaped ice lolly. The correct temperature of service varies between 8 and 10 degrees: to achieve it, dust off that silver bucket that you hold in the cupboard for about ten years, fill it with ice, water and salt and give your sparkling wine a refreshing bath of at least twenty of minutes.

2) No bang, thanks

It's not New Year's Eve, it's not going to start a train with the cry of Brigitte Bardot Bardot and no, you have not won a Formula 1 Grand Prix. To open your bottle, hold the cap firmly and start to extract it by rotating it back and forth little by little, without letting it escape. You will spare the chandelier in the dining room, an unpleasant fountain on the laid table and a too much noise.

3) Eye by the glass

The champagne cup is best left to those who still try to get an idea of ​​the size of the breast of Queen Marie Antoinette. In 2019 it is better to choose a common white wine glass, or alternatively the characteristic tulip flûte. The goal is to preserve the aromas of wine for longer.

4) A clean glass, but in the right way

Perhaps not everyone knows it, but the way in which the glass is washed before the toast is essential to allow the aromas and sparkling wines to express themselves to the fullest. It is important not to use detergents that could leave residues on the glass, and do not help drying with a cloth: just a little 'hot water, then leave to dry the glass in total autonomy, upside down.

5) Pour carefully

Since it is assumed that in a romantic dinner neither of them intends to steal the bottle from the table and run away, it is better to pour the champagne into the glass with full knowledge. Remembering that yes, sparkling wines tend to overflow, and that no, you do not want to soak the tablecloth even before you start eating. So let's remember to pour in two times, making a few seconds pass before topping up, and never exceed two thirds of the glass. The effect "full to the brim" does not ease the toast and extinguishes the enthusiasm.

6) No to the empty bottle overturned

No, no, and no. The practice of putting the bottle upside down once you have poured everything its contents makes no sense. So save them hanging and keep some elegance.

7) The napkin that saves the tablecloth

Next to the ice bucket, remember to always keep a napkin. Possibly white, more chic, but at the bottom the color is not very relevant. What is important is to avoid splitting the whole tablecloth with water. This is why it is necessary to carefully dry the bottle before holding it and pour the wine into the glasses. Watering dishes and cutlery – let us remember – will not give birth to flowers from the table, but only a widespread sense of embarrassment and sloppiness.

8) A minimal table

Although it is Valentine's Day, the feast of love and lovers, it is not necessary to set with heart-shaped dishes, red napkins, flower-like curtains and a bouquet of 45 red roses as a centerpiece. Choose simplicity and let your champagne give the right touch of color to the whole. Golden or rosé it is.

9) Inform yourself, thank you

The sparkling wine can also be sublime, the label is beautiful, and the bottle is the most expensive that you have ever bought from graduation in this part. It is not enough. If your sweetheart should ask you some questions about the wine you have chosen, you will not be able to get away with answering that it is a champagne, and therefore it is French. Much wiser, therefore, to inquire in the least on the vintage and on the grapes, maybe even on the cellar, if you want to overdo it. Knowing the history of what you are about to drink, and knowing how to tell it, is a touch of class from true masters.

10) Sparkling bubbles throughout the meal

A glass of champagne is a perfect way to inaugurate a romantic evening, we know it well. But it can also go very well to accompany the rest of the dinner, from appetizer to second. Unless you have decided to propose a menu based on polenta and stew, but that's another story. Ask your wine shop for advice, therefore, to choose the bubbles best suited to dishes in anticipation. And remember that for the moment of dessert it is better to keep a more sugary sparkling wine in reserve, like a demi-sec. A winning idea, especially if you intend to end the evening with the classic flirt with strawberries, languid looks and soft music.

How to fry perfectly: 5 basic rules – Italian Cuisine

Cross and table delight, the frying It is one of the most delicious cooking methods to use in the kitchen. Every dish prepared with this technique, including vegetables, is charged with a large caloric intake. Made by immersing the food in a boiling fat, the pieces of food are cooked quickly, conquering a golden and crispy crust. Here are the basic rules for a perfect fried.

The 5 basic rules for a perfect fried

You're worried about not being able to do one perfect fried? No fear! With some simple precautions, even those who have little experience in the kitchen can bring to the table fragrant and light morsels without any effort.

There first rule is to choose theright oil. The most suitable is extra virgin olive oil because it has a high smoke point (ie the temperature that an oil must never exceed, otherwise it burns). For some, its intense flavor can interfere with the taste of frying. For this reason, peanut oil is chosen because it has a more delicate flavor.

There second rule it concerns the amount of oil to use: if the food is dipped in oil, the food will be lighter.

There third rule it concerns the oil temperature. To know if the vegetable fat is ready to give us its magic, throw in the pan a crouton or a piece of carrot: if it surfaces on the surface sizzling and forms many bubbles all around, the oil is ready to start frying.

There fourth rule it concerns the quantity. Fry a few pieces at a time, because many together would lower the temperature of the oil, with the result that the fried would be less crispy and more greasy. Immediately after dipping the food, raise the flame and keep it high until the fry begins to sizzle.

There fifth rule it concerns the storage. As you fry, keep the pieces ready in the hot oven but off and with the door open. Do not cover them, to prevent the steam from making them soggy.

What you can fry

There are those who really fry everything, including dishes and cutlery. In fact, frying is able to improve the taste of many foods. This cooking technique is also able to give a unique flavor to foods treated with other methods.

Among the best fried recipes stand out those of fish, like the fried calamari in corn crust, or le vegetables, like the traditional ones battered and fried pumpkin flowers. Even the meat appropriates new flavors through frying, as happens with the ginger chicken strips.

With the hot oil you can prepare the tasty pasta frittatina, fried pizza, i panzerotti, lo fried dumplings. Passing into the realm of dessert, why not experiment with the good ones fried sweet ravioli, i fried triangles covered with apples, bomboloncini is fried ricotta sheets.

How it is better to fry

For a impeccable frying you need to equip yourself with the right tools. Let's start with delle kitchen tongs, which will allow you to fish the individual pieces of food from boiling oil, avoiding splashes and risks of burns to the hands.

Use the straw paper to absorb excess oil: it will also allow you to make a good impression when serving fried food on the table.

At a previous stage, especially if you're preparing some vegetables in batter, use the kitchen whisks to add air to the mixture with which you will cover the pieces of vegetable. The result will give you reason.

The digital thermometer kitchenware you need to set the perfect time to dip food in a pan. The ideal temperature for a good frying of small and medium size is 176 ° C. Measure it with this tool, it will prevent to carbonize the test ingredient in the oil, contaminating the taste.

Finally, for a frying without odors, perfect and uniform, you can equip yourself with one Fryer.

What to use for frying

Before determining what is the best choice, it must be said that there are many in the kitchen fat which can be used for frying. Let's start with saturated fats, also called "bad" fats. The one with a higher percentage of this type of fat is the lard, followed by lard, butter is Palm oil.

Among the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, or better i "good" fats there are sunflower oil, corn oil, extra virgin olive oil, soy and finally peanut oil.

How much oil to use for frying

For a perfect frying the food to be fried must be covered with oil. Basically the amount of oil will have to be for 10 times higher than that of food: to cook a kilo of potatoes, one liter of oil will be used, completing the fry in 10 shifts, cooking 100 grams of food at a time.

Use a little oil in frying will result in a greasy and uneven color.

What is the optimal temperature and how to measure it

There ideal temperature for a good frying small and medium size is 176 ° C. You can measure it with a kitchen thermometer.

How to fry without odors

The dilemma of those who are preparing to fry is naturally the smell. But sometimes the desire to fry is so strong that you sacrifice the wholesomeness of the air at home willingly. However there are different ways to fry without odors. If you have a balcony or garden you can start frying outside with one electric fryer.

If you can not do this operation outdoors, operate the extractor hood to the maximum and cover your hair with one plastic cap or with a headscarf.

You can prevent the spread of the smell by boiling a mix of water and vinegar in a saucepan near the frying pan where you're frying: a real killer for the smell of fried! Another equally effective mixture is that based on water and cloves (for those who can not stand vinegar).

An ancient but effective remedy is to put some apple slices in oil for frying. You will thus be able to limit the unpleasantness of the smell. When they start to brown, you will understand that the oil is ready for frying.

The tricks to avoid splashes

It seems an impossible mission, but it is not so. For avoid oil splashes, before pouring it into the pan, heat it and sprinkle a pinch of salt.

Another trick is to cover the pot with an overturned metal or silicone colander: the steam will come out the same, but the oil will not splash anywhere.

How it is possible to fry without oil

A bit 'for the smell, a little' to protect the coronary cholesterol, there are those who ask: is it possible to fry without oil? The answer is yes and there is no single method.

The first is to get one air fryer. This device is a kind of stove that is flooded with hot air in profusion, like in a mini fan oven. There are models with a mixer – which prevents the dishes from sticking – and without a mixer – that forces who is cooking to extract the food and shake the container.

But what is revolutionary is the fact that, if you want to fry frozen fries, you can not even use a drop of oil because, through the air recirculation, you will use the fat already contained in the crisps.

Another method for frying without oil is the absolute cooking. In this case the oil is replaced with simple sugar, glucose. We know that for a perfect frying it is necessary to reach a temperature of 140 ° C, above which the Maillard reaction is triggered (the same one that triggers in the grilled meat), a series of chemical phenomena that produce a scented crust.

Glucose melts at a temperature between 150 ° C and 160 ° C, it does not caramelise up to 190 ° C. Using a food thermometer, melt the sugar in a saucepan or a pan with high sides: as in traditional frying, the food must be completely immersed in sugar.

Mix for a long time: once the temperature is between 150 ° C and 160 ° C, you will see that the glucose will become transparent. At the appearance of the first bubbles, you can fry sweet or savory foods. In the first case, such as cooking donuts, just dip a few pieces at a time until you reach the browning.

In the second case you have to wrap meat or fish (cut into small pieces) in a leaf of salad, leek or similar vegetables, so that the food is not contaminated by sugar. Glucose is viscous and does not penetrate into the roulade which, when reached 50 ° C, will be cooked – or better fried – to perfection.