Essential Ingredients of
Northern Italy

To make authentic Northern Italian meals, you must start with the necessary ingredients. Below are some key ingredients specific to these regions. Visit our La Cucina section for a full list of ingredients that will help you prepare recipes from across the entire country of Italy.

General Ingredients

  • Artichokes
  • Squash
  • Basil
  • Truffles
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Salt Cod
  • Anchovies
  • Amaretti
  • Porcini Mushrooms
  • Radicchio
  • Mostarda
  • Prosciutto
  • Pancetta
  • Bresaola


There are many types; the one used in Italian food is sweet basil.


  • Asiago (Veneto)
  • Fontina (Valle d'Aosta)
  • Montasio (Friuli-Venezia Giulia / Veneto)
  • Bra Tenero (Piedmont)
  • Piave Vecchio (veneto)
  • Parmagiano-Reggiano (Emilia-Romagna)
  • Grana Padano (Lombardy / Piedmont / Emilia-Romagna / Veneto)
  • Gorgonzola (Piedmont / Lombardy)
  • Marscapone (Lombardy)
  • Talegio (Lombardy)


This hard, granular cheese is one of the finest in the world.


  • Arborio Rice
  • Carnaroli Rice
  • Vilane Nano Rice
  • Polenta
  • Potato Gnocchi
  • Type 00 flour
  • Rye flour
  • Chickpeas
  • Borlotti Beans
  • Cannellini Beans

Arborio Rice

Firm, creamy, and chewy Italian short-grain rice.


  • Olive Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

Olive Oil

Fruit oil obtained from the olive; used for cooking.


  • Sea Salt
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Star Anise
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Saffron

Star Anise

This fruit has a star shape and a licorice taste.


  • Pinot Grigio Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • White Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar

Straightforward vinegar with a clean, pungent taste.