Cupboard Essentials for Italian Cooking

Have you ever wondered what makes Italian food so delicious? Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need if you want to invite a taste of Italy into your kitchen:

Dried Pasta

This is an absolute cupboard essential. Made from flour, water and salt, there are many different varieties but they form the basis of almost every Italian dish so make sure you’re stocked up on the pasta you prefer.


Whether you opt for fresh or canned, the rich fruity taste of tomatoes is the grounding for most of the well-loved Italian dishes we enjoy in the UK. Choose whole, peeled tomatoes for a deeper flavour to your recipes.

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If you decide you want to branch out and make your own pasta then choose semolina flour which one of the preferred flours for homemade pasta. All-purpose flour is still fine for making both pasta and the dough for homemade pizzas.


These small fruits have been soaked in water, salt or lye to ease their bitter taste. They are used greatly in Italian cuisine from pastas to topping pizzas. They have some great health benefits too as they are packed with monounsaturated fats, antioxidants and Vitamin E.


Strong, pungent and ideal for warding off vampires apparently, garlic is used extensively in Italian cooking. Pick your cloves with firm, tight and unbroken heads for the best flavours in your recipes.


Authentic mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffaloes but most of the cheese of this kind is made from cow’s milk in the UK. Known for its elasticity, it is used in many dishes and is the cheese used to top pizzas because it melts so deliciously. If you don’t feel like cooking then think about Italian Restaurants In Dublin. For more details, visit


This is a hard cheese with a very strong flavour and smell but don’t be put off. Mostly used in its grated form, it adds a wonderful nutty flavour to many pasta dishes adding the finishing touches to the tops of lasagnes as well.

Balsamic Vinegar

As opposed to wine vinegars, balsamic is thicker and sweeter. It is mainly used in dressings, salads and marinades in Italian cuisine. Some authentic Italian balsamic vinegars are aged for over a decade in oak barrels and used in their neat, syrupy form for drizzling over vegetables or fruit.

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A fresh sprinkle of this herb adds a lovely aromatic finish to top a plate of spaghetti, pizza or to garnish a pizza.

Cannellini Beans

These beans are often found in Italian soups, stews or salads. If you opt for dried beans, you’ll need to soak them in water overnight so for a quicker last-minute option, choose a canned variety.

Arborio Rice

This is the variety of rice that makes risottos as delicious as they are. It’s a short-grained type of rice which is high in starch. This starch is released during cooking, best done over a long, low heat and this is how it gets its thick and creamy consistency.


A very tasty type of Italian ham that has been cured and dried in the open air for long periods of time. This process gives it a deeper flavour and makes it gorgeously tender. It is mostly found sliced super thin and is best eaten uncooked.

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