Italian cuisine, without a doubt, maintains its supremacy in the flavorful world of good food. It has over the years managed to be one of the go-to cuisines for everyone but in particular the people of New York City. This is why there are so many restaurants including our favorite Italian restaurant New York, that deliver the promised goodness of authentic Italian dishes to their customers.

The preparation of a perfect Italian dish is fairly easy provided you have the right ingredients at your disposal. Let us go through the list of 8 such essential ingredients that are requisite to cooking good Italian food.



One of the most recognizable dishes that feature on every menu in any Italian restaurant is the good old pasta. This sacred dish is also a staple ingredient in every Italian home and if you wish to cook a plate of good Italian food, you must have it in your pantry as well. A pasta is created by combining a bunch of ingredients including flour, salt, olive oil, water and eggs. It can be made at home from scratch or you can choose to buy it from a good and well-recognized brand.

There are many options of different textures, different shapes and different raw materials as well, from which you can choose your preferred one. But remember if you’re trying to cook good Italian food, you must have at least 2 to 3 types of pasta in your kitchen.

Olive Oil

The thing that holds a good Italian pasta dish together is olive oil. Be it as in its raw form or used during the cooking of the dish, good olive oil will always elevate the delightful flavors on your plate. Not only is the taste quite delicious, but it is also quite healthy as well. As per a study, it was found out that people who consume olive oil can reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases by 15%. This is why olive oil is one ingredient that should feature in all kitchens regardless of the cuisine being cooked.


A good ripe tomato will add an extra edge of flavor to any boring dish. And Italian cuisine is one which is a live example of it. The Italians can add tomato to anything and make it taste good. We’d go as far as to say that tomatoes are the red heart of Italian cooking. It’s even fine if you’re using canned tomatoes instead of the ones fresh from a garden. Provided that the canned tomatoes are being sold by a high-quality brand.


One herb that is like the cherry on the top of every dessert, is basil. A simple basil leaf just altogether lifts the spirit of the dish and instantly takes it to the Masterchef level. This is why it is present in the kitchens of famous chefs and home cooks alike. It is used in tomato sauces, pizzas, seasonings, literally anything and everything.

If we have to compare basil to any other home garden ingredient like garlic, tomato or even lemon, a true Italian would favor basil over them all. So should you.


One ingredient that forms the life force of Italian cooking is cheese. Be it Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mozzarella or Ricotta, whatever, each dish has its hero cheese to accompany it. Each kind of cheese being sold in the market has a different function to play in the dish and the cook must be mindful of it.

For instance, Parmesan is good for pasta or risotto, Mozzarella is just right for pizza, Ricotta is needed for fritters and Mascarpone is perfect for a luxurious dessert. Not only should your ingredient list always include cheese, but it is important to also study them and use them in the best way only.


A plate of Italian food is incomplete without the sprinkle of the aromatic dried oregano. Used particularly in pizzas, spaghetti sauce, and other tomato-based sauces, you just need to put in the right amount of this herb and you’ll have the most delicious original Italian flavors without even working very hard for it.

Out of all the hundreds and thousands of spices and herbs that are used in the cooking of various cuisines, dried oregano is one of the topmost sources of strong immunity and anti-inflammatory properties.


A good glass of wine on the side of a hefty plate of Italian food is ambrosial. Not just as a side piece, but a good wine can also be used in the cooking of a great Italian dish. Of course, moderation and being aware of the alcohol content is something that is advisable for every cook who wishes to ace the Italian cooking game. It is also important to understand which wine should be used for which dish since all of them have such contrasting tastes and desired effects.

Like red wine usually goes well with meat, charcuterie and pasta whereas white wine better compliments the taste of white meat, vegetables and fish.


Don’t even think of undermining the importance of something like mushrooms for Italian food. Mushrooms play a major role and are quite important to be present in the pasta sauces to give them a strong aroma and a rather earthy taste. They add flavor but also provide nutrition to the eater. Being a rather rich source of protein, they are actually considered to be a worthy replacement for meat.

For cooking mushrooms, the two best methods are considered to be microwaving and grilling.


Italian cooking is truly loved because it not only tastes brilliant but it smells and looks brilliant as well. This is why New Yorkers have a special place in their heart for Italian cuisine. Therefore if you are a lover of Italian food as well, these 8 ingredients must be present in your pantry.