Italian cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines in the world. The best thing about Italian food is that it’s fresh, simple, and loaded with exotic herbs. So, what’s the best place to get it? Honestly, it’s Italy! Well, it’s possible for everyone to plan a trip and get the feel of authentic Italian food. It’s a good idea to visit Italian outdoor dining or even better: cook Italian style food at home.

Most people feel daunted by the idea of cooking Italian food. That’s because you need to take care of the fine details and there is an immense variety in the dishes you can cook. It’s a good idea to buy some recipe books and or watch some videos to get an idea of the cuisine. Well, there are some basics you should know to cook the best Italian food possible.

Herbs And Spices

Authentic Italian food does not contain more than 6 or 7 spices. The goal is to enhance the natural flavor of the ingredients and minimize the overwhelming feel of the spices. Plus, salt is an important ingredient that is used to flavor food, season pasta water, and draw water out of vegetables. The important herbs include rosemary, sage, parsley, and basil. There is a general conception that every Italian food has oregano. Well, it’s mainly used in Southern Italy. Fresh herbs are usually preferred.

Now, if you want to add some heat to your dishes, you can add pepperoncino or red hot pepper. Talking about black pepper, it’s only used if a particular dish needs that flavor.

Vegetables And Fruits

Italian cuisine is mostly about using fresh seasonal produce. Commonly used vegetables include zucchini, eggplants, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, peas, tomatoes, carrots, and artichokes. Tomatoes are usually available during a specific season. So, it’s common to use canned tomatoes even in authentic dishes. Well, just be careful while buying canned tomatoes and ensure they are devoid of any additives and sodium chloride. Tomatoes are an important ingredient of Italian sauces such as Bolognese Sauce, Marinara, Vodka Cream Sauce, and Puttanesca Sauce.

Vegetables are a part of most dishes that include risottos, pasta dishes, side dishes, soups, salads, pizza, side dishes, and main dishes. So, recipes you should try include Spaghetti Squash with Alfredo Sauce, Cauliflower Piccata, Minestrone Soup, Sun-dried tomatoes & vegetables, and Spicy Eggplant Caponata.

Now, talking about the fruits, the common ones include berries, grapes, cherries, oranges, lemons, figs, apples, and plums. You can try Arugula Basil Salad with Sweet Corn, lemon, red beans, and spices, Raw Fruit Tartlets, Beautiful Berry Napoleans, and No-bake Lemon Tart.


Italian food is incomplete without Pasta. You can either get dried pasta (pasta secca) or make it fresh (pasta fresca). You can find pasta in varying shapes and sizes. The type of sauce usually dictates which shape you should use. Well, most people are confused about following the right approach to cooking pasta. To start with, you can try making Aglio e olio (garlic and oil) which is a very basic recipe. The main reason you should start with this dish is that it teaches you basic pasta saucing skills. Once you master this recipe, you can jump straight to other oil-based pasta recipes. A good idea is to try alle vongole which is made with clams and wine in aglio e olio sauce.

Select The Right Olive Oil

It’s a known fact that Italian cuisine uses olive oil. Well, you should know that there are many varieties of olive oil and each one carries its own unique characteristics. Some oils are subtle while others can be fruity or aromatic. You should use extra virgin olive oil for salads while virgin olive oil is a great bet for baking and sauteing. You can use light olive oil for general everyday cooking.

With these basics, you can surely give a good kickstart to cooking Italian cuisine. If you want to taste authentic Italian cuisine, you should visit Outdoor Italian dining and get the feel of the cuisine. This will help you in your recipes because you’ll know what kind of taste you should aim to cook. Once you master it, you can dive into the beauty of authentic Italian cuisine.