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ESSENTIALS: Ingredients for a Well-Stocked Italian Pantry, Make an awesome Italian meal in minutes

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A Guide to Making Sure You Have Everything in Your Kitchen to Making an Awesome Italian Meal

If you love a particular cuisine, it's important to stock your pantry with basics and staples so you can quickly make a meal. Our ESSENTIALS guides provide you with an exhaustive list of things to keep on hand.

An Italian pantry should not just have a variety of ingredients, but also high quality ingredients. Make sure to find D.O.P. products including tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano, olive oil and other ingredients found in this guide, but most importantly - don't skimp on quality. Spend the extra couple cents on high quality products. It makes all the difference when it comes to the flavor of your dishes.



THE FULL LIST OF ITALIAN ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS

Lemon trees in Italy are a great example of the fresh produce that abounds in the country

FRESH PRODUCE

Italians have access to beautiful produce, but it ranges quite drastically from the North to the South. In the South of Italy (and along the coasts), lemon trees are everywhere and play an important part of regional dishes (limoncello, anyone?). In the forests, fresh mushrooms and truffles abound. In Sicily, eggplant is the foundation for so many traditional dishes. And of course tomatoes, so prevalent in Italian cooking are important.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Visit Sicily and Chicken Cacciatora


Fresh Produce for Easy Italian Meals

Italian eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, pumpkin, fennel, lemon, onion, garlic, artichokes

Keeping fresh and dried herbs in your pantry will make cooking up a good Italian meal a cinch

HERBS & SPICES

Herbs and spice play an important role in Italian cooking. Simple dishes are pointed with an herb to make a dish come alive. Raviolo with Butter Sage Sauce, Tomato and Mozzarella with Basil. Pasta and Pecorino Cheese with Black Peppercorns - dishes so simple, yet become so fantastic with a simple herb or spice. Having a select few high quality herbs and spices on hand will help make whipping up an authentic Italian meal even easier.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Carbonara and Pesto & Focaccia


Herbs & Spices for Easy Italian Meals

Fresh basil and fresh sage make a wonderful addition to meals, but dried versions also have their place. However dried oregano, parsley, rosemary and chili peppers are great to keep in the pantry. As for spices - saffron will allow you to make a quick Risotto Milanese and black peppercorns are loved by Italians

Parmigiano is known as the King of All Cheeses

DAIRY SECTION

It's no secret that dairy plays an important role in Italian cuisine. From pasta dough and stuffed pastas, to creating a perfect cacio e pepe - high quality dairy products can make or break your meal. When buying cheese, make sure it's cheese that originates from Italy to ensure the best quality. There's a significant difference in the soil of Italy that influences feed for cows and sheep. Those differences then changes the outcome of the cheese.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Gnocchi Two Ways and Carbonara


Cheeses to Stock on Hand for Easy Italian Meals

Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and Grana Padano all have very long shelf lives. For more immediate consumption, select gorgonzola, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella and burrata

Don't skimp on jarred Italian goods, it's so important they of high quality

CANNED & JARRED ITEMS

Some of our favourite things from Italy come in a jar. Whether it's the salty punch of capers, or the taste of a tomato that comes from the San Marzano region of Italy - these canned and jarred items are all a must have in any Italian pantry. Buy the best product you can - they stay fresh in your pantry for a long time, and the higher quality product has a dramatic difference in flavour. Don't be scared by anchovies, when they're high quality and treated properly, they can make your dish a star.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Fresh Pasta & Ragu Pasta Making Class and Orecchiette Pasta Making Class


Canned & Jarred Staples for Easy Italian Meals

High quality extra virgin olive oil, San Marzano D.O.P. tomatoes, capers, tinned anchovies, olives, Italian canned tuna

Beans are an under celebrated part of the Italian diet

BEANS

Beans are an important, but often less celebrated, staple of the Italian diet. Whether it's a hearty bean dish like the well known Pasta Fagole from the Veneto region, or chickpeas and fava beans used in antipasto in the South - don't overlook bean dishes from Italy. These two varieties are the bare minimum for an Italian pantry.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Florentine Steak & Biscotti


Beans to Keep in the Pantry for Easy Italian Meals

Borlotti beans (traditional bean used in pasta e fagioli) Garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, fava beans


Pasta Shapes for Italian pantry

GRAINS & PASTA

It's what everyone thinks of when they first think of Italy - pasta. We prefer the Italian pantry to cover the wide range of pasta shapes, as they have different uses for different sauces. At the very least though, make sure to have the basics - and then buy as needed from there. Make sure to branch into rice, bread making and polenta as well to cover the vast dishes that range the Italian diet.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Visit Sicily and Ravioli


Italian Grains & Pasta Essentials for Easy Italian Meals

Carnaroli rice for risotto, 00 flour and semolina flour for fresh pasta making. Cornmeal should be kept on hand for polenta. Dried pasta is limitless, but we recommend to always keep penne pasta, spaghetti, tagliatelle, and orecchiette on hand.

BAKERY

The best Italian style bread is one you'll make from scratch, but alas - we don't always have time. Breadcrumbs stay in the pantry for quite a while and can be used to take a simple pasta to the next level.

Related Cooking Classes: Pesto & Focaccia


Baked Goods to Keep On Hand for Easy Italian Meals

Artisan breadcrumbs, artisanal Italian bread stored in freezer to prolong freshness is fine. Cannoli shells, biscotti, Italian cookies, which can be stored in the freezer for longer shelf life, will satisfy a sweet tooth

Dried mushrooms are alleys good to have on hand when making Italian food

NUTS & DRIED GOODS

There are so many things we could include here, but consider these the must-haves. Pine nuts will make sure you can always make a traditional pesto, and porcini mushrooms will make sure you've always got a beautiful risotto within reach.

Related Cooking Classes: Risotto In Depth


Nuts & Dried Goods to Keep In Pantry for Quick Italian Meals

Pine nuts, hazelnuts, dried figs, dried porcini mushrooms

Olive oil and vinegar, two of the most important parts to the Italian diet

CONDIMENTS

There are a few very important condiments in the Italian pantry, the most important of which are vinegar and oil. But it doesn't stop there. Make sure to have the very best you can afford in your pantry at all times. You can make a variety of condiments at home if you keep your pantry stocked with this Italian Essentials Guide.


Condiment Staples for Italian Cooking

Balsamic vinegar, high-quality extra virgin olive oil, hazelnut spread


FREEZER SECTION

If there's one thing to keep in the freezer, it would be peas. You can add them into pastas, rices, soups, and if they are flash frozen, they'll retain sweetness which will make a dish pop. If you like a well-stocked freezer, look for artichokes and other produce as well. We prefer fresh, but depending where you live, getting frozen might be a better option year round.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Pesto & Focaccia


Frozen Goods to Keep On Hand for Quick Italian Meals

Sweet peas, green beans, artichokes if available

Pork is prevalent in the Italian diet

POULTRY & MEAT

Pork is an important staple of the Italian diet. Make sure to always have cured pork on hand. It's a flavouring and also perfect for any charcuterie board. Beef and different cuts (whether making a Bolognese sauce or an ossobuco) is important. If possible, keep a cut of beef in the refrigerator that you can then grind or cut depending on the dish.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: A Taste of Milan and Emilia I Love You


Meats and Poultry to Keep On Hand for Fast Italian Meals

Guanciale, pancetta, prosciutto, mortadella, salami or other cured meat. Nduja or other Italian sausage. Beef or veal shank is good to keep on hand for ossobucco

Learn how to make Seafood Pasta with the help of Chef Paola from Italy in a Cooking Class held by private video call

SEAFOOD SECTION

Visit the coasts or the South of Italy, and you'll taste some of the freshest seafood of your life. Fruitti di mare - or fruits of the sea, are plentiful here. An abundance of selection means there's lots of options.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Seafood Pasta


Seafood to Keep On Hand for Easy Italian Meals

Shrimp, clams, mussels will round out the seafood. Fresh anchovies if you can find them and cod and seabass in the freezer.



Wine, wine and more wine.

WINE AND SPIRITS

And last, but certainly not least - wine. Aside from wine being critical to several Italian dishes, it's just as important on the dinner table. Make sure to keep a variety of beautiful Italian wines in your cellar. They don't have to be expensive. Very good Italian wines are plentiful.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Risotto In Depth and Steak Florentine


Wine & Spirits to Keep Handy for Authentic Italian Meals

Chianti Classico, Pinot Grigio, Lambrusco, Gavi, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and Brunello for a special treat. Spirits include Limoncello, Aperol, Campari, Sambucca


Download our Guide to Italian Pantry Essentials here.

Take it to the grocery store - and stock up.




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ESSENTIALS: Ingredients for a Well-Stocked Italian Pantry, Make an awesome Italian meal in minutes

Updated: Apr 25, 2022


A Guide to Making Sure You Have Everything in Your Kitchen to Making an Awesome Italian Meal

If you love a particular cuisine, it's important to stock your pantry with basics and staples so you can quickly make a meal. Our ESSENTIALS guides provide you with an exhaustive list of things to keep on hand.

An Italian pantry should not just have a variety of ingredients, but also high quality ingredients. Make sure to find D.O.P. products including tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano, olive oil and other ingredients found in this guide, but most importantly - don't skimp on quality. Spend the extra couple cents on high quality products. It makes all the difference when it comes to the flavor of your dishes.



THE FULL LIST OF ITALIAN ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS

Lemon trees in Italy are a great example of the fresh produce that abounds in the country

FRESH PRODUCE

Italians have access to beautiful produce, but it ranges quite drastically from the North to the South. In the South of Italy (and along the coasts), lemon trees are everywhere and play an important part of regional dishes (limoncello, anyone?). In the forests, fresh mushrooms and truffles abound. In Sicily, eggplant is the foundation for so many traditional dishes. And of course tomatoes, so prevalent in Italian cooking are important.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Visit Sicily and Chicken Cacciatora


Fresh Produce for Easy Italian Meals

Italian eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, pumpkin, fennel, lemon, onion, garlic, artichokes

Keeping fresh and dried herbs in your pantry will make cooking up a good Italian meal a cinch

HERBS & SPICES

Herbs and spice play an important role in Italian cooking. Simple dishes are pointed with an herb to make a dish come alive. Raviolo with Butter Sage Sauce, Tomato and Mozzarella with Basil. Pasta and Pecorino Cheese with Black Peppercorns - dishes so simple, yet become so fantastic with a simple herb or spice. Having a select few high quality herbs and spices on hand will help make whipping up an authentic Italian meal even easier.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Carbonara and Pesto & Focaccia


Herbs & Spices for Easy Italian Meals

Fresh basil and fresh sage make a wonderful addition to meals, but dried versions also have their place. However dried oregano, parsley, rosemary and chili peppers are great to keep in the pantry. As for spices - saffron will allow you to make a quick Risotto Milanese and black peppercorns are loved by Italians

Parmigiano is known as the King of All Cheeses

DAIRY SECTION

It's no secret that dairy plays an important role in Italian cuisine. From pasta dough and stuffed pastas, to creating a perfect cacio e pepe - high quality dairy products can make or break your meal. When buying cheese, make sure it's cheese that originates from Italy to ensure the best quality. There's a significant difference in the soil of Italy that influences feed for cows and sheep. Those differences then changes the outcome of the cheese.

Related Italian Cooking Classes: Gnocchi Two Ways and Carbonara


Cheeses to Stock on Hand for Easy Italian Meals

Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and Grana Padano all have very long shelf lives. For more immediate consumption, select gorgonzola, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella and burrata

Don't skimp on jarred Italian goods, it's so important they of high quality