When it comes to curating your culinary arsenal, there are a few food secret weapons every home cook should have on hand. Vinegars, olive oils, condiments, and more can truly amplify your food and take your dishes from basic to amazing!

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Every good cook has a food secret weapon or two they rely on to take their meals up a notch.

Whether it’s a particular spice, a dash of hot sauce, or a condiment that’s used unconventionally, a little bit can make a difference in a dish.

In this episode we explore some of my favorite secret ingredients and how I use them to make my dishes stand out.

Hands holding lemon caper pasta in white bowl.

Secret ingredients

While many of my food secret ingredients may be familiar to the average person, the method I use to employ them is less obvious.

For example, everyone knows water is an essential part of making pasta, but what many don’t realize is how the water the pasta is cooked in, the pasta water, is also a key ingredient for many dishes, including the Roman pastas like cacio e pepe, and spaghetti carbonara.

It also can revitalize any cream-based pasta that has dried out.

Its uses are plenty and I always make it a point to save it for future use since it truly is a food secret weapon!

There are so many other secret weapons when it comes to food, such as vinegar, lemon juice, wine, different types of salt, olive oil, and more.

Listen along as we explore these ingredients in greater detail.

Assassin's pasta in large cast iron pan on walnut cutting board.


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    1. Hi Sandy, we’re working on adding the dressing recipes to the website. They need to be photographed, etc. and then we’ll get them up. They’re definitely on our to-do list! Thanks for the comment!