Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Italian food is beyond question a favourite among all the cuisines. Spend a day in Italy and you’ll find it easy to reinvent entrees, mains and dessert with little hassle. With travel to Italy somewhat challenging these days, now is a time to curate your ideal Italian pantry. Stocking your kitchen pantry with a few basic but essential ingredients will be helpful in preparing delicious Italian recipes, but remember, the better the quality of the ingredients, the tastier and more authentic the result.
Through its project Dolce Vino, the IICCI promotes authentic Italian food, wine and gastronomy in India.
Count on these pantry staples for Italian Cooking Sessions in your very own home
Count on these pantry staples for cooking sessions of Cucina instinctiva – instinctive cooking, in your very own home:
In Italy, olive oil is the most staple ingredient in anyone’s pantry. What would Italians do without it? Most of the dishes are completed with this majestic and versatile ingredient. You can cook using olive oil, drizzle it to make a delicious dressing for your vegetables and even use it as a moisturiser for your skin! Get your hands on Extra Virgin Olive Oil Option 1 or Option 2
Aceto balsamico has a variety of uses in the Italian kitchen, the most common being as a condiment for salads (along with olive oil and a pinch of salt); but that would be restrictive. Balsamic vinegar is also used on chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano, on risotto, on scaloppini, and even strawberries and gelato! Just make sure you buy traditional balsamic vinegar, which is only made in Modena and Reggio Emilia (it must be labelled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale and carry a D.O.P. -Denominazione di Origine Protetta- stamp). You can find an excellent quality of authentic Italian Balsamic Vinegar on these links - Option 1 or Option 2
Spaghetti and Pasta corta
Of course, pasta is a staple food of Italian cuisine and no Italian pantry can be called so if it doesn’t include spaghetti, an all-time favorite, and pasta corta, say penne, fusilli, tortiglioni, and many more. Pasta shapes are specifically designed to hold the sauce in the best way possible. Always prefer durum wheat pasta rather than soft (check the label); when milled properly, durum wheat produces high-quality semolina, which in turn allows pasta to maintain its cooking consistency, delicious flavor, and al dente texture. Get your hands on delicious pasta on these links - Option 1, Option 2 or Option 3
No person living in Italy could do without a can of tomatoes in his/her pantry. Canned tomatoes are extremely handy, laying the base for innumerable dishes from simple sauces like Napolitano, passata and marinara to name a few. They are incorporated to augment soups, offer a base for pizzas, cover scrumptious meatballs and create a ragu… it could go on forever as the list is just about endless. Grab your peeled canned tomatoes Option 1 or Option 2
Always keep a hunk of properly wrapped imported Reggiano parmesan cheese in your fridge. This will save almost any meal. It’s also a great source of calcium! Their complex flavor and extremely granular texture are a result of the long ageing. Parmigiano-Reggiano has been called the "King of Cheeses" and Italians don't just slap this phrase on any old cheese. Grab your Parmigiano Reggiano on these links Option 1 or Option 2. You'll thank us later!
Among favourites is the humble anchovy. Every so often we add an end number of ingredients to a sauce dish that we miss the distinct flavours. Anchovies can be used to enrich a pasta dish or could be added to a salad dressing. If you salt and cook them yourself you get a better, fresher tasting anchovy. Just place it on a slice of bread and enjoy. You can get them on this link
When we talk about essential Italian pantry staples, stocking good flour for bread is perhaps the most crucial ingredient of them all. Flours from hard wheat are called “semola” also known as "semolina" or “grano duro” and are best for pasta (in southern Italy, they are also used for some types of bread). Flours made from soft wheat are labeled “grano tenero” (soft grain) and are used for bread and pastries. Farina 00 (doppio zero) is the most refined, with very little fiber remaining; it is ideal for desserts, fresh or egg pasta and to thicken béchamel and cream sauces. Tipo 00 flour, considered to be considered the gold standard for pasta and pizza dough, 00 flour is a finely ground Italian flour which you can order on this link
Capers are the sprouts of a flower that are hand-picked, dried and then conserved in rock salt or vinegar. Even capers are used pretty much in the same way as anchovies. In pasta and salads, you can fry them deep for that extra crunch. Get your hands on Caper berries on this link
Even though it seems a little fancy, semolina is quite a modest ingredient. The yellow, coarse flour made from durum wheat is a vital part of Italian cooking. Semolina can be incorporated into an array of dishes and desserts, counting traditional pasta, bread, pizzas, gnocchi, cookies and puddings. It's more fragrant and richer in protein compared to usual wheat flour. Stock your pantry with semolina that you'll find on this link
Dried Porcini Mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms provide an impressive earthiness after they are revitalized from their dried state, and they complement an almost meaty flavour to dishes. You can use these beauties to make stocks, add to soups and stews, or enhance polenta. You can get your dried porcini mushrooms on this link
In Italy, coffee is an important part of every Italian's daily routine, beginning with that first sip of rich, aromatic espresso…followed by a few more throughout the day. That’s why an Italian pantry always features coffee blends packets. You can get your hands on aromatic coffee blends on this link
Get in touch with us today to order your favourite Italian Gourmet Food Products to update your pantry, from our import partners and get them home delivered all over India.
Source: sbs, saveur, sauceandfound, thespruceeats, italymagazine