The 10 Italian cooking Commandments

Italian cuisine around the world

Travelling around the world made me realise how people conceive Italian cooking and the mistakes they make sometimes. It can get really disgusting! Here are what my eyes witnessed and the 10 Italian cooking Commandments written by Academia that you can avoid these mistakes!

When I’m travelling, I usually stay at hostels where I have to share rooms and kitchens. I still have to find someone who doesn’t love Italian cuisine! I met people who could cook Italian dishes better than me (this is not that hard actually) and other people who were literally killing Italian cuisine. A few of them:

  1.  I was in Australia and I saw a backpacker cooking the pasta without boiling the water first.
  2.  Putting the uncooked pasta without water directly in the pot. What is even worse is that my friend asked him: What are you doing!? And he replied: What’s wrong? How to say…Why are you asking me that? Another true story from Australia.
  3. Ketchup on pasta. Please, don’t do that! Ketchup is not tomato sauce! Really disgusting.

Here are the 10 Italian Cooking commandments written by Academia Barilla:


1- Cappuccino is not consumed at the end of a meal!

Coffee and cappuccino are the pride of Italy in the world; we usually drink coffee for breakfast and at the end of the meal, while cappuccino is just for breakfast and it’s usually accompanied by some pastry. You can ask for a cappuccino at the end of a meal, just know that most Italians don’t.

2- Risotto and pasta are NOT a side dish

Pasta and – most of the time –risotto  are served by themselves (apart from specific recipes such as Ossobuco milanese-style). The presentation of pasta as a side dish to others is widespread in several countries, but in Italy is seen almost as a sacrilege.

3- You shall not add oil to pasta water!

Oil should not be added to pasta cooking water! Pasta dressing (and oil too) must be added only after you have drained it from its cooking water. Find out how to cook pasta like an Italian here.

 4- Ketchup on pasta: please, don’t

This is really disgusting. Keep ketchup for your french fries or hot dogs, please!

 5- Spaghetti Bolognese? No way, it’s Tagliatelle!

While probably being the world’s most popular Italian recipe, you will not find any restaurant in Bologna to eat it. That’s because the original Italian recipe is “Tagliatelle alla Bolognese” (not spaghetti).

Although this may seem a minor detail, in real Italian cuisine the pairing of the right kind of pasta with the right sauce is considered almost sacred.

6- Chicken Pasta: not in Italy

We don’t have any Italian recipe for pasta with chicken.

7- “Caesar salad”

This salad, which bears the name of its supposed creator, Caesar Cardini, is a part of the long list of recipes devised by chefs of Italian origin, but in fact is almost unknown in Italy.

8- The red and white checkered tablecloth is only a stereotype !

For some strange reason, these tablecloths are universally associated with our food and with the stereotype of the “spaghetti-eater”, and abroad almost all the restaurants that want to play typical Italian use them. If you come to Italy, you will be disappointed as it’s really rare for restaurants to use it.

 9- “Fettuccine Alfredo” are popular only overseas

Created by the chef Alfredo Di Lelio, the owner of a restaurant in Rome, they are noodles seasoned with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano. They are well known in the States, but not that much in Italy.*UPDATE*See the first comment below 🙂 Here is the link to the Restaurant! It’s also present in Mexico, Brasi and Dubai.

10 – You shall respect tradition and what Italian mamma says.

She knows from her mamma, who knew from her mamma who knew from her mamma and so on. It’s been tried and tested. And what a mother teaches at her daughter while they are cooking? that love is the center of all. We must share Italian food with our loved ones. It is what life, love and family are all about.

Scarica la lista dei 10 Comandamenti da seguire in cucina in italiano.

2 Responses to The 10 Italian cooking Commandments


    With reference of your article we have the pleasure to tell you the history of our grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, who is the creator of “fettuccine all’Alfredo” in 1908 in restaurant run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi).
    Alfredo di Lelio opened the restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in a street in central Rome, after leaving the restaurant of his mother Angelina. In this local spread the fame, first to Rome and then in the world, of “fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
    In 1943, during the war, Di Lelio sold the restaurant to others outside his family.
    In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 “Il Vero Alfredo” (“Alfredo di Roma”), which is now managed by his nephews Alfredo and Ines, with the famous “gold cutlery”” (fork and spoon gold) donated in 1927 by two well-known American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (in gratitude for the hospitality).
    See also the website of “Il Vero Alfredo”.
    We must clarify that other restaurants “Alfredo” in Rome do not belong to the family tradition of “Il Vero Alfredo” in Rome.
    We inform that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
    Best regards Alfredo e Ines Di Lelio

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