Main Ingredients in a Vegetarian Italian Recipe

The Italian cuisines follow the Mediterranean pattern of eating with focus on natural ingredients like garlic, tomatoes, whole grains, dark leafy greens and olive oil. This is one of the key reasons why the Italian cuisines are some of the healthiest in the world. Studies have listed a number of health benefits associated with the Mediterranean-style eating patterns. The benefits include better control of blood glucose levels, improved weight loss, and reduced depression. If you are looking for a veg Italian recipe, understanding the key ingredients contained in the cuisines could help you get off on the right foot.

Olive oil

This is an essential part of Italian cuisine. It is high in monounsaturated fat. You can replace butter with olive oil to cut back on the saturated fat. Using olive oil will help lower the levels of bad cholesterol and boost the levels of good cholesterol. The extra-virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants, which are known as polyphenols. They promote the health of your heart.

Olive oil can also be used in the preparation of salads. You can use it to dress your salad. Olive oil can be used to sauté the fresh vegetables in your salad. Olive oil can also be used in baking.


Tomatoes are high in lycopene and vitamin C. lycopene is a heart protective antioxidant that will also help with the prevention of prostate cancer. Additional nutritional benefits of tomatoes include vitamin A, foliate and potassium. You can add fresh tomatoes to your soups, salads and pasta dishes. You can also make tomato sauce. You can also learn more ways of using tomatoes in the Italian restaurant near me.


Garlic offers both antifungal and antibiotic properties. It boosts anticancer characteristics. Studies have shown that garlic can lower the cancer risks for stomach, colon, throat, skin and breast. It is also heart healthy as it prevents clotting. The reason why garlic offers so many health benefits is because of its Sulfides. The sulfides are only released when garlic is chopped or crushed and left to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes prior to cooking or eating. You will get the same benefits if you purchase chopped garlic. You can add garlic to almost any dish.

Red wine

The Italian dinner is not complete without a glass of wine and more preferably red wine. Enjoying wine in moderation during meals and not drinking alone outside the meal and never drinking in excess will boost the levels of good cholesterol and can also help regulate blood sugar and improve food digestion and absorption. You should pour about 5 ounces of red wine to pair with your meal. The rule of thumb here is never to drink wine in excess.

Other ingredients you will find in a veg Italian recipe include:

  • Wholegrain
  • Beans
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Red wine

Adding a few or all of the aforementioned ingredients in your dish will enable you to enjoy some of the many benefits of Italian dishes. You should also make plans to dine in a restaurant that offers Italian dishes from time to time. This will inspire your cooking more.