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Essentials

Along with fresh, seasonal ingredients, have these Italian staples on hand to make it easy to prepare healthy, authentic Italian meals.

In the cupboard

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Canned tomatoes (whole, chopped, cherry and pureed)
  • Dried pasta
  • Canned beans such as cannellini, butter and borlotti beans, chickpeas and lentils
  • Risotto rice such as arborio or carnaroli
  • Canned tuna, packed in brine or olive oil
  • Anchovies
  • Capers, packed in salt
  • Olives, such as small black olives for cooking and juicy pulpy olives for eating out of hand
  • Spices and herbs such as sea salt, black pepper, chile flakes and oregano
  • Dried porcini mushrooms
  • Garlic and onions
  • Wine, red and white; when buying wine remember, “life is too short to drink bad wine”
  • Espresso coffee; a moka pot or caffettiera is a must in every Italian kitchen

In the fridge

  • Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses
  • Mozzarella cheese, imported buffalo mozzarella from Campania is the real thing, otherwise, use any fresh, cow’s milk mozzarella
  • Ricotta
  • Assorted hams and salamis such as pancetta, prosciutto, speck
  • Assorted fresh, seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, rocket (arugula), broccoli, carrots, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, fennel, mushrooms, sweet peppers, pumpkin, radicchio, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini depending upon availability
  • Assorted fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, parsley, rosemary and mint
  • Lemons
  • Assorted fresh seasonal fruits