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10 Essential Italian Ingredients for Italian Cooking

Published February 3rd, 2022 by Devteam

Did you know that the most popular cuisine in the US is Italian?

This is no surprise, considering that the cuisine has plenty of flavorful dishes perfect for any occasion. Authentic Italian food uses only the freshest ingredients, making every recipe irresistible. 

If you want to celebrate Italian culture by cooking some fantastic food, you've come to the right place. Keep reading for 10 Italian ingredients you should always have in hand to satisfy all of your cravings! 

10 Essential Italian Ingredients

Whether you are craving pasta, gnocchi, or risotto, a key to the best Italian food is fresh and seasonal ingredients. So, if you are planning on cooking an Italian dinner, make sure to avoid processed jars of sauce, and pick out these ingredients instead: 

1. Pasta 

Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, and it is the star of a lot of Italian dishes. Whether you make it yourself using flour, eggs, and olive oil or buy it pre-made, pasta is something you should always have around if you want your Italian dinner to be unforgettable!

2. Garlic 

Garlic is used in most Italian dishes- especially sautéed with oil. For the best results, make sure to stay away from jarred garlic and stick to fresh cloves instead. 

3. Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil will add a delicious flavor to any Italian dish (almost every Italian recipe asks for this ingredient). You can also use it to garnish the final plate or serve it with bread as a simple yet irresistible appetizer. 

4. Balsamic Vinegar 

If you are thinking about making a simple Italian salad, you cannot forget to add some balsamic vinegar. This Italian ingredient adds a lot of depth to food and creates spectacular flavor combinations (try it with figs or Parmigiano Reggiano). 

5. Fresh Tomatoes 

Whether you are making a pasta sauce or salad, having fresh tomatoes in hand will make all the difference! Stop buying jarred sauce, and create your own for a more authentic approach. 

6. Basil

Basil is an essential herb in Italian cuisine. Use it to add depth of flavor or garnish your dishes!

7. Oregano 

Oregano is another delicious Italian herb commonly used in sauces. Add some dry oregano to your favorite recipe for an added earthy flavor.

8. Cheese 

Cheese is used in many Italian recipes, including various pasta dishes and pizza! Some of the most common Italian cheeses include mozzarella, gorgonzola, ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano. 

9. Porcini Mushrooms 

Porcini mushrooms are widely used in Italian dishes to create a rich flavor profile. These mushrooms are also used to add a meat-like component to many vegetarian dishes. 

10. Wine

Although Italian cuisine is always better with a glass of wine, wine is also used in food to add richness. Italians love to use wine for cooking meat and sauces (add some red wine to your red sauce for a dramatic improvement!)

Looking for Inspiration? 

Now that you know about these 10 Italian ingredients, you'll be able to make some unforgettable dishes!

If you are in Portland, Oregon, and want to try out some authentic Italian food before cooking your own, give us a call and book a table! 

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