KD Finds: Lidia Bastianich's Italian Cooking Essentials

KD Finds: Lidia Bastianich's Italian Cooking Essentials
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KD Finds: Lidia Bastianich's Italian Cooking Essentials

Emmy award-winning television host and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich shares her five favorite things in the kitchen.

1. Grater

"Whether it’s Grana Padano, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, I always buy my fresh cheese in a chunk at the store rather than already grated. I like to grate my cheese as close as possible [to] when I plan on serving my dish. I add freshly grated cheese to the pot on the fire right before serving," Lidia reveals.

$8; oxo.com

2. OXO 12" Tongs

Lidia uses these tongs to transfer long pasta from boiling water to a sauté pan of sauce, allowing the flavors to marry together before serving. They're also handy for plating the dressed pasta into “nidos”, or nests, in bowls before serving.

$13; oxo.com

3. A Simple Salt Crock

"I find that when cooking, I like to salt progressively -- that is, to season with salt as I add each major ingredient to the pot. I suggest that with each recipe you are about to cook, measure out the total amount of salt called for and use a little of it to salt at different stages, rationing it so that you have a little left to adjust to taste when the recipe is finished. A salt crock nearby while preparing dishes makes this easy," shares Lidia.

$10; crateandbarrel.com

4. Copper Skimmers with Bamboo Handles

Lidia loves to use these skimmers because they are "perfect for fishing out vegetables from boiling water as well as short pasta shapes."

$4.50 for 5" spider; pearlriver.com

5. Oval French Oven

"I love to braise; it’s a great comfort food technique that brings flavors together," Lidia tells us. "A heavy, wide casserole is essential."

$320 for 6.75 qt.; lecreuset.com

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Naturally, Lidia Bastianich's go-to meal is pasta. The celebrated chef, who built her business on Italian cuisine, tells us she craves a humble pasta dish with "just spaghetti, garlic and oil with nice spicy pepperoncini" when she's hungry.

Her home-style Italian cooking, which is rooted in family tradition, relies on fewer, better kitchen essentials. Lidia shares with us five things in her kitchen that she can't cook without, from the handy tool for perfect pasta plating to the item she describes as "essential" for braising.

Check out the slideshow above to see Lidia Bastianich's five favorite picks in the kitchen.

Get inspired to cook the perfect Italian dinner with our menu of Lidia's favorite recipes below! To make your own, head to Host Handbook where Kitchen Daily helps you plan your next event, from menus to invitations.

Lidia Bastianich's Italian Dinner

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