When thinking of an Italian pantry, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Freshly canned tomatoes, right? Right! But in addition to our beloved g̶r̶a̶v̶y̶ canned tomatoes, there are a few staples that are must-haves for any Italian pantry.
Stocking An Italian Pantry: The Staples
While it's not entirely necessary, we'd be remiss if we didn't suggest you try to purchase as much as you can from authentic Italian grocers. I actually purchase a lot of my Italian pantry items from our local Italian deli. They are always fresh and from actual Italian vendors--and to be honest, I just like shopping at this particular place--the food, the aromas, the friendly staff--molto bene.
Start building your Italian pantry by adding these classic Italian ingredients:
Fun Fact: Consuming garlic on a daily basis (no problem in this house) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the antioxidant properties of allicin. It is also immensely beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels!
Fun Fact: According to the Olive Oil Times (yes, that’s really a thing!), a diet rich in olive oil may actually be able to slow down the aging of the heart. It has the potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and a recent study showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50% (compared to a low fat diet).
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With the addition of fresh ingredients like veggies and greens, meats and fish, lots of rustic, “peasant” type dishes can be made using these pantry staples. For example:
Now that you’ve stocked your Italian pantry, how about throwing together a simple and delicious recipe? Pair this recipe for Garlic Shrimp and Sundried Tomatoes With Spaghetti with some crusty Italian bread and a nice Pinot Grigio, and let me know what time’s dinner.