Common Spices and Herbs Used in Italian Cooking

An array of herbs and spices are used for flavoring in Italian recipes. These herbs and spices range from the well-known oregano to the lesser-known myrtle. When cooking at home, many feel lost trying to achieve the taste of a traditional Italian cuisine. Getting to know these spices and herbs helps you become a better chef at home and makes you feel like you’re running your own Italian restaurant in your kitchen.

Tomatoes are widely known as favorites in Italian food. Tomato-based recipes rely on basil and oregano for flavoring. There are a variety of basil herbs that have different flavors. There are both spicy and sweet forms of basil, both of which are used in Italian recipes. Oregano is typically paired with basil, as they work well together.

Parsley is a favorite ingredient in Italian food, as it is known to pair wonderfully with red meat, which is common on the Italian menu. Parsley is found in many meat sauces and pasta dishes, such as lasagna. It is important to know that flat-leaved Italian parsley is to be used in cooking, as it is much more flavorful than its curly-leaved counterparts. Curly-leaved parsley should only be used as a garnish.

Other common spices and herbs used in Italian food are thyme, sage, pepper, rosemary, and nutmeg. Thyme and nutmeg are used to add sweetness, while pepper, rosemary, and sage are used to add spice and savoriness to meaty meals such as stews.

Some lesser-known herbs and spices used in Italian cooking are myrtle, coriander, and saffron. These spices and herbs are used in veal, liver, and fish recipes. A little-known fact is that saffron is extremely expensive. This makes its use sparing, and it is typically saved for special occasions.

Learning about Italian spices and herbs will make you a better chef and will help you prepare meals that will rival those of your favorite Italian restaurant. Your in-home Italian restaurant reviews will be nothing but praise.

For more information about the spices and herbs used in authentic Italian dishes, connect with one of these Italian restaurants in your area.

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