In this article, we will answer the following question: Do Italians put onions in sauce? We will describe the type of onions used in most Italian dishes and talk about the most common aromatic herbs and spices used in Italian cuisine.
Do Italians put onions in sauce?
Italians use onions when making tomato sauce, frying it together with pepper, or tuna in the pan before pouring the pasta’s preparation. Onions are widely used in fish, omelets, and cold Italian dishes.
Yellow onion is the one that suits most and varied dishes, including Italian sauce.It has thin, thin layers of white flesh and a strong yellowish-brown shell. It’s astringent – which means it has a strong, almost spicy aroma – but it also has a lot of sugar. When cooked, it loses its astringency, becomes very sweet and takes on a light brown hue.
The sweet onion – also known as Vidalia – is very similar to the yellow one, but its distinct aroma is dedicated to certain things. The sweet onion has thicker leaves, which makes it perfect for slicing. Due to its high sugar and low sulfur content, it is very sweet and has a much less pungent and strong aroma than other types of onions.
Red onions have a more subtle flavor and a pleasant color. Crispy and slightly sweet, with a faint bitter taste at the end. It doesn’t have as strong a flavor as yellow onions.
The green onion is cylindrical, it is an immature onion, without a bulb, the green color of the leaves gradually fading into the white of what would become a bulb. It can be consumed without limits, under any kind, even boiled, because it does not lose its properties at all.
Due to the variety and richness of flavors, Italian cuisine is considered one of the world’s best cuisines. Whatever region of Italy you prefer (north, focused on cheese and vegetables, or south, marked by fish and special pasta), it is good to know that Italian cuisine will always offer you a rare wealth of recipes.
The aromatic herbs and spices most used in Italian cuisine
In Italian cuisine and practically all Mediterranean cuisine, it is very common to use a wide variety of aromatic herbs and spices that come from leaves, flowers, roots, barks, or seeds.
The most common is to relate herbs such as basil and oregano to Italian cuisine as they are very common herbs when making sauces, pasta, and pizzas, but the truth is that in Italian cuisine many varieties and preparations are used depending on the recipes or products that are worked.
For this reason, in today’s post, we provide you with a selection of aromatic herbs, spices, and condiments that play a leading role in Italian cuisine.
Rosmarino (rosemary)- thanks to its sweet aroma but powerful flavor, it is frequently used in vegetables, vinegar, bread, etc.
Basil: is most often associated with Mediterranean cuisine, its special aroma being complemented by tomatoes, with which it combines perfectly, but also with olive oil, lemon, garlic or onion. It is the basic ingredient in pesto sauce and is used in sauces for pasta, salads, eggs, cheeses (especially with mozzarella), seafood, rice and meat dishes.
Origano (oregano): it is another of the favorites of Italian cuisine and that you have surely seen accompanying real Italian pizzas.
Coriandolo (coriander): it is used especially in combination with sausages and cold cuts.
Zènzero (ginger): it is a spice that is used in many recipes but that stands out in the preparation of a Christmas sweet based on ginger in the form of cookies: “pan di zenzero or panpepato”.
Turmeric: a perfect ally to season chicken. Sometimes curry is also used for poultry and rice.
Paprika (paprika): Widely used in sauces and meat dishes.
Peperoncino (chili): Widely used to add a spicy touch to many dishes, such as the famous “pasta all’ arrabbiata”.
Erba Cipollina (chives): As its name suggests, it is reminiscent of onion, but its flavor is finer. It is widely used in fish, omelets, and cold dishes.
Prezzemolo (parsley): A spice that provides a very fresh touch, making it ideal in light summer dishes and fish sauces. Together with garlic, they make a perfect tandem.
There are many more herbs that can be used both fresh and dried, although in the case of fresh herbs, we will always find a greater aroma and flavor. In Mediterranean cuisine, we also find several preparations based on different combinations of aromatic herbs to prepare many Italian recipes.
An example of this is what is known as Italian seasoning, whose main ingredients are usually basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and oregano. Sometimes others are added, such as sage or garlic. Some variants include black pepper, fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf, oregano.
Aromatic herbs provide many nutritional values and their use is very beneficial for health as it helps to reduce the salt intake without detracting from the flavor of the dish.
Of course, let’s not forget their function: they only accompany and enhance the flavor, but the protagonism is not, in most cases, the herbs or spices.
The bottom line
In this article, we answered the following question: Do Italians put onions in sauce? We described the type of onions used in most Italian dishes and talked about the most common aromatic herbs and spices used in Italian cuisine.
In Italian cuisine and practically all Mediterranean cuisine, it is very common to use a wide variety of aromatic herbs and spices that come from leaves, flowers, roots, barks, or seeds. When making Italian sauce, we can fry a little onion with fresh tomatoes and tuna, to make the perfect accompaniment for our pasta dish!
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