Cooking Tips From An Italian Grandma

Laura Vitale, host of the Cooking Channel's “Simply Laura,” learned a lot of her pro tips from her Italian grandmother. Now she’s sharing the three most important rules her grandma taught her:

Buy one cheap olive oil and one nice one - Laura says she keeps both a higher quality olive oil and a standard one around, just like her grandmother and mother do. Use the more expensive one to make no-cook sauces that “have such potent, fresh flavor,” like basil pesto and bruschetta. And use the inexpensive one for cooking other dishes where that flavor doesn’t stand out as much.

Freeze Parmesan rinds to add to soup - After you’ve grated all the cheese you can, Laura suggests saving the rinds to add to homemade soups. She says the flavor is released as it cooks and you can store the rinds in the freezer until you need them.

Treat time as an ingredient - Laura says the best tip her grandmother gave her is that time is as valuable as any other ingredient. “Never mistake the difference between what takes a long time to cook and what takes a long time to prepare,” she explains. “One of the most important things when it comes to cooking is time - allowing something to cook for a while and not rushing it.”


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