Italiano – Quality Ingredients Cooked Simply

Cooking Italiano – Simple Recipes and Tips

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti. – Sophia Loren

When you cook Italian, just a few quality ingredients are needed for you to whip up something special. Below are some tips and recipes that will have you cooking delicious Italiano in no time.

Cacio e Pepe Recipe

The sauce for Cacio e Pepe is translated as cheese and pepper and is literally just made with grated Parmigiano, black pepper, and for a smooth-silky texture, pasta water. 


200 g Rummo’s spaghetti or linguine – 1 pinch sea salt, for the cooking water – 1 large dollop of butter – 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to serve – 60 g Parmigiano or Pecorino, finely gratedplus extra to serve


Grate Parmigiano or Pecorino prior to cooking. – When draining pasta make sure to reserve pasta water for this dish. – Add butter and let melt. Then add pepper. – Heat for 1 minute until fragrant. – Add a ladleful of pasta water to butter and pepper mixture. Bring to a boil. – Reduce heat and add pasta with 3/4 of your grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. – Stir and shake pan to melt the cheese allowing sauce to cling to pasta. – Add remaining 1/4 cheese and toss until it also melts. – When serving, sprinkle extra cheese and pepper to each plate. – If desired and have time to prepare, place a sliver of Parmigiano cheese crisp on pasta for garnish.

Parmigiano Crisp Instructions

In a non-stick pan without butter or oil, over medium-high heat, grate even layers of Parmesan directly onto the pan with a cheese slicer. Remove from pan once they turn yellow. Let cool and place on top of nest of pasta as garnish and tasty treat.

Carbonara: Three Simple Ingredients

Carbonara uses egg yolks to create a rich sauce and Pecorino along with Pancetta (or bacon) to give it a wonderful saltiness. Like with Cacio e Pepe, to make the dish even more silky, use a little bit of the pasta water at the end.

Why Pasta water?

Add a splash of pasta water whenever the sauce seems too dry and do not rinse pasta when you drain. It is important that the pasta remains starchy so that ingredients will cling to it. Regular water will take that starch away. 

Plating your Pasta

To create a lovely, neat nest of pasta for your plate just like a chef in a fine restaurant, gather up pasta around tongs or carving fork, anchor it in a large ladle and twirl. Keeping the fork or tongs in the ladle, nudge the nest of pasta onto the plate as you carefully slide the ladle out. Slowly remove fork or tongs.

Gnocchi are little pillows of potato and flour, which are lightly poached to be served in a sauce. In Italy, you would usually have a small portion as a starter, but there’s no reason that it can’t be a main course. The sauce is up to you.

Gnocchi with Truffle Butter Recipe

This dish has only four ingredients and may be ready in 15 minutes.


Melt butter in a large frying pan – Add truffle or truffle oil and stir to combine. – Take the pan off the heat and let the truffle infuse into the butter. – Prepare gnocchi according to the instructions on the package. – Toss cooked gnocchi in melted truffle butter. – Top each plate of gnocchi liberally with Parmigiano. 

*I actually fried my Rummo Gnocchi in melted truffle butter mixture yesterday, instead of boiling separately as is suggested. It was delicious!  

NEW at Herma’s

Dript Honey

Give Pepperoni Pizza a chili kick with our NEW Dript chili-infused honey. Drizzle on pizza just before eating and it will give your pizza a balance of sweetness and fire. Yum!

At Herma’s find...Hive Inferno, Hive on Fire and Salted Hive

Thursday Cottage

Their handmade jams, curds and marmalades created in the Essex countryside of England have won Great Taste Awards this year which includes their Lemon Curd, Cherry Curd, Ginger Curd, Blood Orange Marmalade and Reduced Sugar Blackcurrant Jam.

Hawkshead Relish Company

Hawkshead Relish Company’s unique chutney, jelly, pickles and ketchup, created in the Lake District of England, has also won many Great Taste Awards. We look forward for you to try.

In our freezers…

Piano Piano Pizza

There are frozen pizzas, but…then there are TASTY & F*#KIN’ delicious pizzas. – Piano Piano

Piano Piano has a stellar reputation as a restaurant in Toronto that specializes in pizza. You should try their frozen pizzas which are located in Herma’s freezers. They taste like the pizza served in Piano Piano’s restaurants, may be cooked in 10 minutes and are made from 100% naturally leavened Sourdough bread along with other premium ingredients locally sourced from Ontario purveyors.  

At Herma’s we carry…Pepperoni, Sweet Hornet (w/ calabrese sausage, chili flakes and spicy honey), Sicilian Sausage Pizza, Mushroom & Onion, and of course, their Margherita Pizza

Also be sure to try Sino’s Italian from Peterborough and Prep’s frozen food from Cobourg. Both will allow you to enjoy delicious meals in minutes.