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Take a tour of the Scotto family's big, cozy, Italian kitchen

by Claudia Amato /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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As famed chefs and restaurateurs, the Scottos are frequent guests of TODAY where they share their Italian-inspired recipes with viewers. Now, they're opening the doors to their Southampton, New York home and inviting you into their kitchen.

Take a 3-D tour of their favorite room in the house here:

Pro tip: Use your VR set or cardboard VR headset for a fully immersive experience.

Marion Scotto and two of her four kids, Elaina Scotto and Anthony Scotto Jr., said they consider their kitchen the heart of the home.

"It brings us together," Marion said.

 "We're in this kitchen all day long," Elaina Scotto said. Mike Smith/TODAY

"It's almost like our living room ... we're in this kitchen all day long," Elaina added.

Anthony Jr. says the open-concept design plays a key part. "Everything is designed so that when my mom and my dad are cooking, they're able to turn around and see everybody," he said.

  Mike Smith/TODAY

And if you're going to be in the kitchen, then get ready to roll up your sleeves and help out, the Scotto kids explained. Act up and Marion may just throw a wooden spoon your way. "She had deadly aim with that wooden spoon," Anthony Jr. said with a laugh.

The kitchen has stainless steel finishes, two commercial ovens and a wine fridge. But one item that's sure to catch your eye is the sign that sits above the dining table. It reads: "Dear Lord, If you can't make me skinny, please make all my friends fat."

 This sign has a special spot right above the dining room table. Mike Smith/TODAY

"When I saw that sign, I said it's for me," Marion said.

When it comes to cooking like a Scotto, keeping the recipe simple is your best bet. For Elaina, that means not overdoing it with seasoning. Instead, she suggests bringing out the flavor of the food with salt.

"Great kosher salt — can't live without it. Sometimes it's the only thing I cook with and it really makes a difference," she said.

 Fresh ingredients make all the difference, said Anthony Scotto Jr. Mike Smith/TODAY

Growing your own herbs is another way incorporate fresh ingredients, and it's something even city-dwellers can do. Basil, thyme and oregano are a great starting point, Anthony Jr. suggests.

 Marion, Elaina and Anthony Scotto pose in their favorite room in the house: the kitchen. Mike Smith/TODAY

The Scottos like to emphasize that cooking shouldn't be intimidating, and that anybody can learn.

"If you really care about what you're doing ... you can pull off anything. If you're just starting out, maybe don't do four courses," Anthony Jr. said. "Flambes are not usually the best at this point, but do a salad and do an entree and then build from there." And remember to take advantage of the seasonal fruits and veggies, Elaina added.

No matter what you're whipping up in the kitchen, take a cue from the Scottos and make it with family.

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The Scotto family — Marion, Rosanna, Anthony Jr. and Elaina Scotto own and operate the restaurant Fresco by Scotto in New York City.

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