I must admit, I'm addicted to Italian food! It may have something to do with my Italian heritage but put a tasty bowl of pasta in front of me and I'm happy.
But even thought it's so easy to throw something together at home, there really is an art to making sublime Italian food - and Bagatti's are masters of their art.
So let's take a moment to have a look at some of those common mistakes that other restaurants make that you won't find at Bagatti's - quite simply because they know their stuff!
When it comes to pasta carbonara, many restaurants add cream into the sauce, which in true Italian style is a big no no. The sauce is properly made using egg yolks to thicken it and add richness. Cream is in fact a little too cloying, but has become an English take on this Roman dish. You don't really find cream or even butter as a feature in any Italian pasta dishes, it will always be olive oil instead.
Before you even get to the sauce though, how you cook the pasta is also important. The saying goes "the water should be as salty as the sea" - salt needs to be added to the cooking water so the pasta can absorb it as its cooking. This is the only way to get the pasta to taste really good. Adding salt after it's been cooked can never have the same effect.
Also, did you know that in Italy it's not the done thing to add parmesan to pasta dishes that contain clams or shellfish?! It's believed that it affects the taste by overpowering the delicate flavours of the seafood. The same applies to dishes with truffles in them - they're just too delicate to maintain a balance of flavour if you add parmesan into the mix.
Moving on from pasta you'll find Italians looking at you in disbelief if you add pineapple as a pizza topping! (Oops, there's my husband in the frame!) And they also love nothing more than taking those pizza slices and folding them to eat them with their hands - none of this using a fork to cut it up!
When it comes to drinks, you won't find Italian locals sipping on cocktails throughout a meal either. It's all very well starting off with an aperitif but once the food arrives, it tends to be wine all the way.
One of the favourite Italian desserts is tiramisu, but some restaurants make a couple of fatal errors that have an impact on the quality of the end result. Bagatti's get it right - adding whipped egg whites to the custard which transform the texture of the dessert, making it light and fluffy. You'll also notice they add the dusting of cocoa just before it's served, otherwise it'll go all soggy if added in advance.
Just these little things really do have an effect on the authenticity and quality of what is supposed to be a proper Italian meal, something that's very important to Bagatti's. They want to ensure that your visit to their Croydon restaurant will leave you feeling like you've had an exceptional Italian dining experience.
Book your table today, and get your own little taste of Italy!