Let’s learn 10 common Italian cooking words

Let's learn 10 common Italian cooking wordsEvery recipe is different, I know, but there are still some Italian cooking words that you can find in recipes easier than others.

Today I’ll explain to you ten common Italian cooking words that, joined to the ones explained in Ten Italian cooking terms you should know, will allow you to understand a large number of Italian recipes.

Let’s start.


Tagliare is one of the most common Italian cooking words and means to divide something into pieces with a knife or with another sharp object. So, in short, tagliare means to cut.

Ex: Tagliate le zucchine a metà
Cut the zucchinis in half


Affettare, is another way to cut food. In particular, affettare means to cut something into slices, so to slice.

Ex: Affettate le zucchine
Slice zucchinis


Tritare is another very common Italian cooking verb and means to cut some food into very small pieces. This Italian verb in English can have at least two possible translations. In fact, according to the context, tritare can be translated both with to mince and to chop.

a. Tritate la carne
Mince the meat

b. Tritate il prezzemolo
Chop the parsley


Cuocere is one of the most basic Italian cooking words and means to cook.

Ex: Cuocete la salsa per un’ora
Cook the sauce for an hour


Bollire is an Italian verb very used in cooking. When bollire refers to food, it means cooking food immersed in boiling water. The English translation of the Italian verb bollire is to boil.

Ex: Bollite le patate per 40 minuti
Boil the potatoes for 40 minutes


Sobbollire is another Italian verb used in cooking and means to cook something slowly, by keeping it just below boling point. In English sobbollire is usually translated as to simmer.

Ex: Sobbollite lo stufato per un’ora
Simmer the stew for an hour


Ammollare or mettere in ammollo means to put something in a liquid to soften it or to make it become completely wet. So, it means to soak.

The Italian expression lasciare in ammollo means to leave a food to soak.

a. Ammollate/mettete in ammollo l’uvetta per 45 minuti
Soak the raisins for 45 minutes

b. Lasciate in ammollo l’uvetta per 45 minuti
Leave the raisins to soak for 45 minutes


Emulsionare in Italian means to mix two or more substances that are usually not soluble or miscible. The English word for emulsionare is to emulsify.

Ex: Emulsionate la panna con la senape
Emulsify the cream with the mustard


Tirare and stendere are two Italian verbs that can have the same meaning when used in cooking. They are usually used with the word dough – pasta, impasto – and mean to flatten the dough by passing a roller over it or by passing it between rollers. In English tirare and stendere are usually translated as to roll out

Ex: Tirate/stendete la pasta/l’impasto
Roll out the dough


Amalgamare is an Italian verb that means to combine together two or more ingredients and mix them until they are thoroughly combined and smoot.

Ex: Amalgamate la farina con le uova
Combine the flour with the eggs and mix until they are thoroughly combined and smooth


The last common Italian verb you need to know to understand the majority of Italian recipes is impastare. Impastare is one of the most common Italian cooking words used in cakes and bread recipes. Impastare means to work some ingredients into dough or paste them with your hands.

Ex: Aggiungete la farina e impastate
Add the flour and knead the dough

Did you already know these Italian cooking words? Are there some Italian cooking words that you find difficult to understand or remember?


Original image by moigram

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