Italian cooking is a very simple cuisine. What sets it apart from other cuisines is not by technique but by knowledge of the ingredients. Italians know that it’s the authenticity of the ingredients that makes their dishes absolutely delicious! There are not a lot of ingredients in a typical Italian dish but each of the ingredients are of the highest quality and freshness.
We bring this very essence into the making of our 825 MAIN Marinara Sauce. What sets it apart from other marinara sauces on the market is that fact that we make sure that the ingredients of the highest quality. And one thing that we bring to marinara sauce is fresh herbs. So I thought in this post I would like to really delve into fresh and dry herbs and Italian cooking.
Herbs are vital to Italian cooking. Having an herb garden is essential to every Italian cook. Basil goes hand in hand with tomatoes. They belong together. But I have to emphasize to use fresh basil. Dry basil has no flavor. Parsley is also another herb that has no flavor if it’s dry. And there is no excuse to not use fresh basil and fresh parsley in your cooking. They are both readily available in your local supermarket. As far as parsley there are 2 kinds that are available. There is Italian parsley and the curly parsley. The curly parsley has a bland parsley flavor and is used mostly for décor rather than flavor. Italian parsley or the flat leaf parsley is much bolder in flavor and used for cooking. So if a recipe calls for parsley be sure to get Italian flat leafed parsley.
Storage of your fresh herbs vary if they are soft with tender stems or hard with woody stems. Soft herbs are treated like flowers. You cut off the stems and place in a glass of fresh water. They can be stored in the fridge this way covered with a plastic bag. Basil is very sensitive and never store in the ridge but rather on your countertop. If it has a woody stem, those herbs should be wrapped in a damp paper towel and wrapped loosely in plastic wrap in the fridge.
Don’t get me wrong, Italians do use dry herbs but never, NEVER basil or parsley! If a label just lists basil or parsley without the word fresh then its a dry tasteless herb!
I am going to share with you three recipes that are herb intensive. I am going to share a Grilled Shrimp Pesto with 825 MAIN Marinara to dip into on the side, Ciabatta bread with an Italian Salsa Verde, and a Fennel Marinara Sauce using the 825 MAIN Marinara.