Italian Cuisine

Italian Cuisine

flavor makers italian

Italian cuisine is deeply rooted in a passion for fresh ingredients. McCormick's herbs and spices add a robust flavor in minutes that even seasoned palettes would appreciate. Needless to say, Italians are very particular about their food – herbs and spices included.

Northern Italy is known for its risottos and use of butter, while Central Italy is better known for tortellini and is home to Parmigiana Reggiano cheese.
Throughout the 20 regions of Italy there are many unique and distinctive ingredients and dishes.
Italian cuisine leans on simple, high-quality ingredients and freshly-dried herbs and spices. Bring those herbs and spices to your own kitchen for an easy way to experience those same flavors and aromas of rustic Italy.


Italian Flavor Stories

Italian Flavors

Explore easy ways to use these herbs and spices for delicious Italian flavor.


McCormick's pure oregano has a natural affinity for all things tomato. That’s why it’s a staple of the southern Italian kitchen. From slow-cooked tomato sauce to spiced tomato juice to fresh tomato salad, oregano never met a tomato it didn’t like. Try Oregano Leaves.


You won’t find a more versatile herb than McCormick's pure basil, which some people may not know is actually part of the mint family. It carries a fresh, green aroma with a hint of sweet licorice and holds a place of honor in the Italian and Italian-American kitchen. Use it in seafood and poultry dishes, red sauces, pizza and pasta with vegetables. Try Basil Leaves.


The Italian table wouldn’t be the same without this aromatic herb. Rosemary is used in marinades for grilled meat and poultry. But it also does double-duty as a flavor-enhancer for starchy beans and vegetables. Try Rosemary Leaves.

Red Pepper

Traditional Italian cuisine isn’t known for chili pepper heat, but Italian cooks use small amounts of this fiery spice to liven up pasta sauces and vegetables. Take Amatriciana sauce, for instance. It pairs red pepper with tomato and a bit of guanciale, and offers a full, rich flavor in every bite. Try Crushed Red Pepper.


Known more for its appearance, parsley can add both color and flavor to a wide range of dishes. Parsley pairs particularly well with the seafood dishes popular along the coastal cities in Italy. Try Parsley Flakes.

Bay Leaves

Use this classic Italian herb in fish soups and stews. Add some parsley flakes, thyme and a hint of crushed red pepper for a true Italian treat. Try Bay Leaves.


Garlic is well known to be a favorite in Italian dishes. Its sharpness cuts through rich tomato sauces, heavy meat and eggplant dishes while its sweetness is at home with seafood. Try Garlic Powder or Roasted Garlic Powder.


Thyme is an essential and versatile herb, its sweet aroma and mellow flavor make it the perfect addition to all types of recipes. A Mediterranean native, thyme regularly turns up in the Italian kitchen, particularly in rubs for roast chicken and in garlicky chicken soups and stews. It goes great with other Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, oregano and bay leaves. Try Thyme Leaves or Ground Thyme.

Italian Recipes

Beyond Italian

Switch up some of the herbs and spices for a different take on your favorite dish.

  • Greek
  • Mexican
  • Peruvian
  • Caribbean
  • Thai
  • Korean

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