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Tips & Tricks

At Victoria Fine Foods, we have a passion for taking life slowly and savoring each bite; we never rush our cooking, and we take pride in using quality ingredients and an artisan, slow kettle-cooked process for all of our pasta sauces.

We take such care crafting our sauces for you, so why not complement your favorite pasta dishes with fantastic Italian flavor? We’re here to help you complete your meal with these mouthwatering chef-inspired tips. So sit back, relax and learn how to craft an authentic Italian meal. From our kitchen to yours. Mangia bene!

Easy Greens

Add a dash of color and up your nutrition quotient by adding a handful of fresh greens to your pasta. Simply line your colander with a cup or two of fresh arugula or baby spinach. When you drain your pasta, the greens will be quickly blanched. Toss with tongs to mix in the greens, then top with warm alfredo sauce.

Baked Olives

Make your olives especially fragrant and delicious by marinating them and serving them warm. Start with a mix of your favorite olives, drained, and add a sliver of thinly sliced orange peel and fresh garlic, a pinch of dried rosemary and a healthy splash of good olive oil. Heat in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes and serve.

Tip: Good Italian food starts with great shopping. Make buying quality ingredients a priority, and the ingredients will do all the work!

Refreshing Pasta, Restaurant Style

A restaurant trick for serving hot pasta, even if you cooked it hours before: Remove pasta from boiling water before it is entirely cooked (about 2 minutes early). Keep pasta water at a boil. When you are ready to eat, plunge the cool pasta into the boiling water for one minute, stirring gently, then quickly remove with tongs. Added bonus: Save some of the pasta water and add a few tablespoons to your sauce to thin it a little, adding a creamy texture.

Gremolata

Gremolata is a secret weapon of traditional Italian flavor. It’s simply a combination of finely minced fresh parsley, lemon zest and fresh garlic. Spoon a small amount on roasted lamb, osso bucco or a hearty plate of pasta with marinara white bean sauce. It adds a zesty punch of flavor just before serving. A little goes a long way!

Tip: Let your baked pasta rest for at least 15 minutes before serving to let the pasta absorb all those delicious juices. Use 4 quarts of water per pound of pasta and about 4 teaspoons of salt.

A Neglected Treasure: Parmesan Rind

You know the thick yellow heel you end up with after you’ve grated your Parmigiano-Reggiano? Save that rind! Use it to add depth and flavor to stocks for soups, rice, risotto or a braising liquid for vegetables (especially Italian kale). Simply toss the rind in your stock as it’s simmering and remove before using the broth. Also perfect for a nice, simple tortellini en brodo.