-Start with fresh ingredients.
-Cook with the calendar - in-season produce tastes best.
-Make friends with your cheese seller - learn names of Italian cheeses and how to buy and use them.
-Master how not to follow a recipe.
-Taste as you cook.
-Many Italian recipes begin by sauting vegetables in olive oil. Don't rush this step. It builds flavor.
-Be frugal. Italians believe the maxim, "waste not, want not."
Source: "Italian Cooking for Dummies," by Cesare Casella and Jack Bishop