An Introduction To Traditional Italian Cuisine

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Authentic Italian Restaurant Hawthorn

Authentic Italian restaurant Hawthorn. Traditionally, Italian cuisine is based primarily on wheat products.  These may come as pasta and bread, combined with cheese, meat, fish, and fresh vegetables. The food is prepared in a way that preserves the natural quality, appearance, and taste of the ingredients.

The best Italian food can be enjoyed in any good authentic Italian restaurant in Hawthorn or in other areas the world over.

The Art of Italian Cooking

Italian food with its rich and textural ingredients is bold and satisfying yet light and packed with flavour.

Italian cuisine is so much more than pasta, pizza, and big plates of meatballs.

Italians rely on trusted staples like olive oil, prosciutto, dried porcinis, and balsamico.

American-Italian food was born when Italian immigrants found it hard to find their trusty ingredients. It started using more sausages and other meats in their dishes with a healthy dose of garlic to improve the flavour.

However, it can never replace traditional, authentic Italian cuisine.  

The Italian Meal, whether home-cooked or in an authentic Italian restaurant in Hawthorn

Italian food preparation just as how an authentic Italian restaurant Hawthorn would

Preparing Italian food is really a celebration of produce and nutrition comes as a second thought.

A typical meal will start with a large plate of antipasti – the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal – followed by a light dish of pasta and sauce.

The main dish is usually a deliciously prepared protein dish like meat, fish, or chicken accompanied by vegetables.

  • Antipasti

Antipasti can sometimes be more exciting than the main dish as it contains such a variety of fresh and cured foods.

A traditional antipasto includes a variety of cured meats, pepperoncini, olives, anchovies, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, vegetables in oil or vinegar, accompanied by cheese, olive oil, and bread.

Variety of Ingredients is the key

A variation on this theme includes a seafood platter with calamari, smoked salmon, olives, tuna fish, and mussels.

An antipasti salad consists of an assortment of cheese and olives, peppers, salami, pepperoni, artichokes, lettuce and tomatoes dressed in a homemade Italian dressing.

  • Vegetables

Onion and garlic are the familiar go-to’s for most Italian dishes but intense green and vibrantly coloured vegetables feature prominently on the plate.

Tomatoes feature prominently in Italian cooking and large quantities are prepared for use in sauces and other dishes.

  • Condiments

Olive oil, the cornerstone of all Italian cooking, is used to drizzle over everything or used to braise, fry, and preserve food.

Balsamic vinegar is another prime staple in Italian cooking and an important ingredient for dressing salads and for dipping fresh bread into along with olive oil as part of the antipasto dish.

  • Cheese

Any respectable Italian kitchen will always have a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano within arm’s reach when cooking.

Other soft and hard cheeses are also popular but nothing compares to these two staples.

  • Fish

Fish is another staple in traditional Italian cuisine whether fresh from the sea or canned in oil like tuna or sardines.

  • Preserved Food

Food Preservation, the Italian way

Italians are great at preserving and curing, turning olives into olive oil, pickling vegetables in vinegar, turning meat into salami and sausage, fish into salt cod, and, of course, turning grapes into wonderful wine.

They firmly believe in taking the time to make the deliciousness of food last longer.

The flavours of their preserved foods are so intense that a little goes a long way.

  • Starches

Starches are used as a vehicle for wonderful sauces and only the best ingredients are used.

From home-made pasta like fettuccine, ziti, and tortellini to authentic Italian Arborio rice to make the creamiest risotto, starches are there to carry the flavours of Italy to the palate.

One of the most important things about every authentic Italian dish is that it has been built upon traditional products and fresh ingredients that are best when based on seasonality and location.

Italians meals seem to have a reverse crescendo, each dish becoming simpler as the meal progresses.

Quality ingredients are very important when preparing Italian food just like the Italians do.

At Osteria 20, we offer an authentic Italian dining experience with service that is second to none.

Conveniently located in Hawthorn, please come and visit us today at Osteria 20.  Have all the traditional Italian dishes in our authentic Italian restaurant in Hawthorn!

We are open from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm Monday to Sunday and are available for Coffee, Lunch, and Dinner.
For dining or event bookings please feel free to call (03) 9818 3600 or email us at

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