ES.S41 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate

Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full

Lesson 3

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Watch three videos:

Lesson 3, Part 2: Ingredients and Vocab

Lesson 3, Part 3: Cooking Instruction

Lesson 3, Part 4: Closing Lecture

Pizza Veloce/Quick Pizza

If you want to make “real pizza” you need a lot of time, because when you use yeast you must wait for the dough to rise. Questa ricetta uses baking powder: it is much faster and still very tasty!

One of the most basic pizzas is the pizza Margherita, with tomato, mozzarella and basil. Do you know that pizza Margherita was invented after MIT was founded? Read about the history of pizza.

Ingredienti Per 3 Persone

  • 500 g farina (flour)
  • Two cucchiani di lievito istantaneo (2 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • One cucchiaino di bicarbonato (1 teaspoon of baking soda)
  • sale
  • acqua tiepida (tepid, lukewarm water)
  • Two cucchiai di olio d’oliva (2 spoonfuls of olive oil)
  • origano (oregano)

Add your favorite toppings. Here there are some ideas. You can use:

  • Il ba-si-li-co/ (basil: add it at the very end, when the pizza is already baked)
  • La pas-sa-ta di po-mo-do-ro (plain strained tomatoes, we used Pomì)
  • La moz-za-rel-la (consider about 200–250 g for each rectangular pizza)
  • Il pro-sciut-to cot-to (ham Literally “cooked prosciutto”)
  • Il pro-sciut-to cru-do (raw prosciutto. Add it at the very end, when the pizza is already baked)
  • La ci-pol-la (onion)
  • La me-lan-za-na (eggplant: slice it thin, cover with salt, rinse very well and dry, grill in a pan without oil)
  • La zuch-chi-na/ Lo zuc-chi-no (slice in your favorite shape and cook briefly in a pan).
  • Olive oil and chopped onions/garlic/spices
  • Il fun-go (mushroom)
  • Il pe-pe-ron-e (pepper: slice in thin stripes and cook briefly in a pan with olive oil and chopped onions/garlic/spices)
  • Gli spi-na-ci (spinaches! good source of vitamins and magnesium)
  • U-na fet-ta di sa-la-me (a slice of salami–you probably want more than one)
  • Il for-mag-gio gor-gon-zo-la (gorgonzola cheese. It is an Italian cheese similar to blue cheese)

Directions for Pizza Margherita

  1. Pre-heat il forno/the oven to 400 or 500 degrees Fahrenheit. (At 500 degrees the pizza bakes faster, and at 400 degrees, it rises slower and therefore it tends to be more cakey).
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: farina, lievito, bicarbonato, and sale (Quanto? How much? A few pinches of salt are sufficient.)
  3. Add lukewarm water. You want the dough to be soft, but not sticky. If it is sticky, add a little flour. You can keep the dough in a bowl or knead it quickly on the floured kitchen counter.
  4. Take a sheet of parchment paper and flatten the dough, as thin or as thick as you like it. You can use a rolling pin, or your hands, flattening the dough with the tips of your fingers.
  5. Spread the tomato puree (no need to cook it in advance, you can use it as is) over the raw crust, sprinkle with mozzarella, origano and one pinch of salt.
  6. Finally drizzle with a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil. You can have fun adding all kind of toppings.
  7. Transfer the pizza onto an oven rack, and bake until the crust turns golden. It should take 15–20 minutes, but it depends on the thickness.

Buon appetito!

PS: In Italy we use Celsius degrees _(gradi Celsius, or gradi centigrad_i). When someone says oggi ci sono 40 gradi is therefore extremely hot. You can do the conversion to see what I mean! °C x 9/5 + 32 = °F

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Lezione Numero Tre/Lesson Number Three

Watch a video:

Lesson 3, Part 1: Opening Lecture

Come State?/How Are You?

  • Come state? (Literally “How do you stay?”)/How are you?"
    • Spero bene! /I hope well!

You may be wondering whether am I talking to you as a single person, or to you as a group. In English you would know it from the context. In Italian you would know it from the structure of the sentence itself, because I would use a different form of the verb stare.

(voi) come state? You-plural
(tu) come stai? You-singular
(lei) come sta? You-singular, formal (like Usted in Spanish)

Here is how you can answer:

Bene. Or benissimo/molto bene. Very well.
Non c’è male, grazie. Not bad, thank you. (Literally “There isn’t bad.”)
Cosi cosi. So so.
Male Bad.
Note: If we are in a formal relationship, you should say E Lei? instead of E tu?

Listen to Dialogue: Come Stai?

Come Stai? (MP3 - 2.7MB)

Essere O Stare? Questo è il Dilemma!/Using the Verbs Essere or Stare? That is The Question!

  • We ask come stai, not come sei.
  • As a general rule, essere means “to be”, and stare means “to stay”.
  • However, stare, not essere is always used, when followed by the adverbs bene, male, meglio, or peggio (worse). Stare bene with an indirect pronoun (dative) means “it suits you”.
  • Questo vestito ti (=a te) sta bene/This dress suits you. (Literally “this dress stays well to you”).

Stare followed by the gerundive expresses the continuous tenses:

Sto cucinando. (I) am cooking.
Stavo leggendo. (I) was reading.

Essere is used in general to indicate more permanent aspects of people or things.

Sono Daria. I am Daria.
Sono di New York. I am from New York.
Mike è Americano. Mike is American.
Mia mamma è bionda. My mom is blond. (Used with identity, origin, nationality, aspect, religion, etc.)

Sometimes it’s also for transitory conditions/emotions.

Giovanni è ammalato. (not sta ammalato) John is sick.
Alice è innamorata. Alice is enamored (in love).
Sei felice? Are you happy?

Essere is also used as a verbo ausiliare (auxiliary verb, or helper) in the passive form:

  • La pizza è cotta nel forno./The pizza is baked (literally “cooked”) in the oven.

When talking about a location, essere and stare are mostly the same:

Siamo in cucina or stiamo in cucina./We are in the kitchen.

Listening Exercise

Essere e stare: Indicativo presente

Ascolta come si coniuga l’indicativo presente dei verbi essere e stare./Listen to how the verbs _essere and stare are used.

Essere e stare (MP3- 1.8MB)

 Il Verbo “Essere” / The Verb “To Be”

(io) sono. (I) am.
(tu) sei (informal)/ (Lei) è (formal). (you) are.
(lei/lui) è. (she/he) is. (We don’t have the neutral pronoun “it”.)
(noi) siamo. (we) are.
(voi) siete. (you) are.
(loro) sono. (they) are.

Il Verbo “Stare”/The Verb “To Stay”

Sto. (I) stay.
stai (informal) sta (formal). (you) stay.
sta. (she/he) stays.
stiamo. (we) are.
state. (you) stay.
stanno. (they) stay.

If you want to talk about something you enjoy doing, you use the verb piacere followed by the infinitive:

A Giorgio piace cucinare./George likes cooking. (Literally “cooking is pleasing to George.”)

As we started planning what to cook next, we made the list of what toppings we like on pizza.

Cosa ti (= a te) piace sulla pizza? What do you like on your pizza? (Literally “What is pleasing to you on pizza?”)
Mi (=a me) piace la mozzarella. I like mozzarella. (Literally “Mozzarella is pleasing to me.”)
Mi piacciono le melanzane e i peperoni, I like eggplant and peppers. (Literally “Eggplants and peppers are pleasing to me.”)


Lesson 3 Assignments (PDF)

Listening Exercise

Mi piace!/I like it!

Listen and repeat.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2012
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Lecture Videos
Activity Assignments
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