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Reading Italian recipes

help in la cucina

from La Cucina della regioni italiana

Italian recipes (ricette) might seem very vague compared to ones you might be used to, and are sometimes written in different tenses, so while using 'search' note the endings to the words might be different. For your equipment, see cookware and tableware.

accosciato: trussed (meat or poultry)

addensare: to thicken

affettare: to slice

aggiungere: to add

appiattire: to flatten (meat)

aprire: to open

asciugare: to dry

bagnare: to soak, wet, moisten

battere: to beat

bollente: boiling

bollire: to boil

brasare: to braise

bucanda, fare un buco: make holes

buttare (fuori): throw (as in throw the pasta in the boiling water); buttare fuori (throw out)

caldo: hot

carta forno: parchment, baking or cooking paper

cartoccio: cooked in paper or foil

chiudere: to close

ciotola: bowl

ciuffo: bunch, as in bunch of parsley

colla di pesce: ('fish glue') sheet gelatine

composto: the mix

condire: to season

congelare: to freeze

cottura: cooking time

cucinare: to cook

cuocere (al forno): to cook (to bake)

cucchiaio: table spoon

cucchiaino: teaspoon

dadini: small cubes; a dadi: to dice

dadolata: diced

dissolvere: to dissolve

disossare: to debone

dividere: to divide

dorare: to cook until golden

etto, ettogrammo: tenth of a kilo

farcire to stuff. Farcia is the stuffing; farcita and farcite mean stuffed or filled.

fiamma (viva): open fire, very hot; fiamma bassa: on a low setting

foglio di alluminio: aluminum foil

freddo: cold

friggere: to fry

fritto: fried

frollare: hang (meat)

fuso: melted

girare: to turn over

gocciolare, goccia: to drip, a drop

grattugiare: to grate

gratuggiato: grated

imbastire: to baste

imbianchire: to blanch (usually vegetables)

imbiondire: to brown

imburrare: to butter

impanare: to dredge in egg and breadcrumbs.

infiammare: to flambé

impastare: to knead; impasto: dough

insaporire: to flavour

intruglio: concoction

inumidire: to moisten

irrorare: to spray, sprinkle

legante: thickener or binder

lavare: to wash

lavorare: to work, to knead

legare: to bind

lessare: to boil

lesso: boiled

macerare: to marinate, macerate, soak

macinare: to grind

macinate: ground (as in flour); macinate a pietra stone ground

manciata: a handful

mantecato: mixed, creamed or 'mounted' with butter

mescolare: to mix, stir

mettere: to put, place

montare (le uova): to whip (eggs)

organizzare: to arrange

pastella: batter; pastellate battered.

pezza, pezzo: literally a 'piece', but around Rome and central Italy also a prime beef cut

pezzettini: tiny pieces

pellicola alimentare: cling film, plastic wrap

pesare: to weigh

a piacere: your choice

piatto unico: a main dish with meat, pasta and vegetable all together on one plate

pizzico: a pinch of something

porzione: portion

pulire: to clean

q.b. ('quanto basta'): 'as much as is required', or 'as much as you like'.

restringere: to shrink

riempire: to fill, stuff

ridotto: reduced

ricoprilo: to coat

riposare: to rest

riscaldare: to heat

ritaglio: cutting, slice

rosolare: to brown

rotolo: something rolled up

rotolare (con il mattarello): to roll or roll up (with a rolling pin)

raffreddare: to chill

refrigerare: to refrigerate

saltato sautéed (literally 'jumped').

sapore, saporito: taste, tasty. Saporite is savoury in the British sense, ie. things that aren't sweet.

sbattere: to beat

sbucciare: to peel, shell, pare, skin

scaglie: chips, shavings (of cheese, truffles, etc.), scales of a fish.

scegliere, scelta: to choose, choice

schiacciare: to mash, press, squeeze

schiuma: foam or froth

sciogliere: to melt

sciolto: dissolved

scodella: bowl

scolare: to drain, strain

scortichino: skinned, knife used for skinning; barked, or rough bits removed. Often used with seitan ('wheat meat')

scottare: to sear, scald, scorched, or flambéed.

scremare: to skim

sfilacetti: thin slices

sfornare: to take out of the oven

sfumare: deglaze

sgocciolare: to drain, to drip

sgranati: shelled (peas, beans)

sistemare: to arrange

soffriggere: to lightly fry, sauté also see soffritto.

sottile: thin, delicate

spadellare: pan fry

spalmare: to spread; spalmable: spreadable

spellare: peel

spennellare: to brush, paint

spesso, spessore: thick, thickness

spezzare: to crack

spinatela: to spin

spolverare: to sprinkle

spruzzare: to spray

tagliare to cut, slice

tagliuzzare: to shred, whittle chop

tazza di caffè Italian coffee cup, a popular measure

tegame: pan

tiepido, tiepida: tepid

trancia or trancio: a slice

tritare: to chop, mince, grind; also see tritato

a vapore: to steam

versare: to pour

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by Dana facros