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What Are Some of the Most Common Ingredients in Italian Food? February 6, 2020

Pelican, Oneida
What Are Some of the Most Common Ingredients in Italian Food?, Pelican, Wisconsin

Italian cuisine is widely beloved throughout the United States. Whether you love cheese pizza or chicken fettuccine Alfredo, you might want to discover what ingredients are used in your favorite dishes. Read on to learn more about some of the essential meats, vegetables, herbs, and cheeses used in Italian cooking.

4 Main Ingredients in Italian Cuisine 

1. Garlic

Fresh garlic is one of the most important aromatics in Italian cooking. It’s prominently featured in tomato and oil-based sauces you might find on spaghetti, linguine, and other pasta dishes. Roasted garlic also adds a sweet and fragrant bite to calzones and pizza. 

2. Basil

Italian cuisineIn addition to rosemary, thyme, and parsley, basil is one of the most popular herbs in Italian food. Sweet, slightly minty, and mild, it enhances the flavor of tomatoes and cheeses, which is why you’ll notice it on Margherita pizza and Caprese salads. Basil also pairs nicely with the fragrant notes of lemon and garlic. 

3. Ricotta 

This is a light and fluffy cheese made from the milk of sheep, goats, cows, or buffalo. You’ll likely encounter it layered in lasagna or inside calzones, stromboli, and ravioli. Creamy ricotta also harmonizes with sweet dishes, such as pancakes and pudding. 

4. Anchovies 

Many dishes in Italian cuisine include anchovies to deepen the flavors. These small fish add salty notes to pasta sauces, aioli, and salad dressings. If you’re feeling adventurous the next time you visit an Italian restaurant, try them on top of your favorite specialty pizza. 


When you’re in the mood for authentic Italian cuisine, dine at The Pizza Haven in Rhinelander, WI, with your friends and family. Since 1969, this family-owned restaurant has offered pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and desserts made with fresh, never-frozen ingredients. Call (715) 362-5942 to make a reservation for your party, or visit their website to browse their menu.

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