Someone once asked me what my favorite Italian ingredient was. Italian food star Mario Batali has a whole list of favorites from A to Z. An assortment that includes buckwheat flour, bergamont, guanciale (hog jowls), rabbit and raddichio. Marcella Hazan’s epic tomato sauce is made with just 3 ingredients; Italian canned plum tomatoes, unsalted butter and onions. A web site called the Kitchen goes out on a culinary limb mentioning garam coloratura, a sauce of fermented anchovies as one of their 10 favorite ingredients for Italian cooking.
I think the Italian pixie dust that brings a taste of Italy to almost any dish is a well seasoned herb and spice mixture. One whiff brings to mind everything you recall about the romance of Italian cooking. Oregano generally leads the way joined by basil, marjoram, thyme, and crushed rosemary.
Considered to be an essential kitchen “staple”, a sprinkling of Italian herbs and spices can add flavor, color and texture to your cooking. Peppercorns, parsley and sage create more flavorful combinations with e.v.olive oil and garlic defining a cultural identity that makes Italian cooking one of the Top 10 Cuisines in the World.