Can you visualize what an Italian herb garden looks like? Are you itching to learn how to replicate their gardens? Do you know why Italy is home of the most famous herbs of the world?

That’s right. Many food experts agree that Italy is the home of the world’s best cuisines. Having an Italian herb garden will undoubtedly make your home and all your home cooking seem Italian inspired.

a super simple Italian herb garden

If this information sounds interesting to you, then let’s get things started and try to know exactly how Italians grow their own herbs.

The best known herb in the country is basil. This herb seems to have unlimited uses. It compliments many Italian dishes and helps enhance a great number of Italian food.

In many cases, it is added as food flavoring because of its unique taste during food preparation. To bring out the best flavor in your basil, try planting it near your tomato and pepper plants.

They make great neighbors and complement each other. Not only that, recent lab tests have shown that this amazing plant has properties that repel mosquitoes and flies.

You see how this Italian herb works? It will drive the flies out of the kitchen even when you are only cooking!

Another herb plants that is widely used in cooking is parsley. Do you know that parsley also comes from Italy? Many Italian dishes are made up and developed by food experts using the amazing wonders of this herb.

Health experts discovered that eating fresh parsley can help eradicate bad breath. A huge variety of meals prepared in Italy uses parsley as a garnish to food preparation.

Oregano is another flavorful herb used in a lot of dishes. The best time to see this plant is when they start to bloom and bear flowers in purple color. The best harvest time for oregano is during its blossoming period.

Italian sage is also popular in Italian cooking. Since this herb plant belongs to the perennial category, it loses its flavor once it starts to mature. To take full advantage of this plant’s flavor during food preparation, replant them.

Rosemary herb plant is also famous in Italy. This plant sprouts while growing as a shrub. To complete your list of the best Italian herbs, you should include garlic. Garlic is fairly easy to grow. Once harvested, you can freeze them in the refrigerator.

Although Italians use herbs primarily for their food, they also use it for health reasons. Having a daily intake of these popular herbs like garlic, basil and parsley is the reason why Italians have the lowest rate of certain ailments than the rest of the world.

Now you know why Italians love herbs and why their recipes are handed down from one generation to the next. An Italian herb garden doesn’t only provide great food to people; it also provides good health and overall well-being at a very reasonable rate!

three different herb plants

Also, here are a few recipes I thought I share with you and they of course, require the use of Italian herbs—even better if the herbs are derived direct from your very own Italian herb garden!

Calamari in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce Recipe

Calamari in Red Wine and Tomato Sauce

Traditionally prepared for Christmas Eve, this recipe is great for an elegant dinner. This Italian dish is very easy to make. Serve the fish with your favorite boiled pasta for the main course.

Ingredients:

• 1 kg calamari

• 4 cups tomato purée

• Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

• 1 cup Italian red wine

• 1 teaspoon minced garlic

• 1 teaspoon Cheyenne pepper

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 tablespoon olive oil

• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

• 1/2 cup Romano cheese, shredded

Instructions:

1. Remove the tentacles from the body of the calamari and slice into half inch thick rings.

2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add garlic. Stir until golden and then add tomato purée, lemon juice, Romano cheese, Cheyenne pepper, black pepper and salt. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Now add Italian red wine, dried basil and cook until the wine has evaporated and the gravy is thick.

4. Add the sliced calamari pieces and cover with a lid. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Avoid over cooking or your calamari will turn rubbery.

5. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and serve.

Pandora Roasted in Salt Recipe

Pandora Roasted in Salt

This dish is going to amaze you with its unique method of cooking. The fish is roasted over a bed of salt. This recipe requires about 2 kg of non-iodized salt. Try the recipe as it is or replace Pandora with any other fish that is not too oily.

Ingredients:

• 1 Pandora, weighing about 1 – 1 1/2 kg

• 2-3 kg non-iodized salt

• 1 medium sized carrot

• 1/2 cup sliced celery

• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

• 1 bay leaf

• 2 tablespoon minced garlic

• 3 cups dry white wine

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

1. Roughly chop the carrot, celery and parsley. Put in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add a pinch of pepper to the blended vegetables.

2. Clean the fish and remove the scales. Wash and then pat dry using paper towels.

3. Marinate the fish in dry wine, pepper and minced garlic for 1 hour.

4. Spoon the carrot and celery mixture into the cavity of the fish.

5. Lay salt in a baking dish to form a half inch thick bed. Place the Pandora over this bed. Pour over the remaining salt so that the fish is buried in at least ½ inch thick salt layer.

6. Place in a preheated oven and cook for 20-30 minutes. When cooked, the salt forms a hard brown covering.

7. Serve with the salt crust intact. Break open the crust at the table to reveal the cooked fish inside.

Italian Peppered Shrimp Alfredo with Pasta Recipe

Italian Peppered Shrimp Alfredo with Pasta

Nothing tastes better than pasta coated in a creamy Alfredo sauce. Pasta with shrimps is one of the best Alfredo sauce recipes for a dinner on a lazy evening. Nutritious, delicious and easy to make, this Italian recipe is everything you can ask for.

Ingredients:

• 2 cups pasta

• 2 tablespoon butter

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 medium sized onion, diced

• 1 teaspoon minced garlic

• 1 medium sized capsicum, sliced

• 1/2 can mushrooms

• 400 g medium sized shrimps

• 2 cups Alfredo Sauce

• 1/2 cup Italian cheese of your choice, grated

• 1/2 cup full cream

• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

• 1/4 cup chopped parsley

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1. Clean, peel and devein the shrimps.

2. Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water. For cooking time, see the instructions on the pasta packet.

3. In a saucepan, heat olive oil together with butter. Add minced garlic and then add onions and stir fry until onions are soft and translucent.

4. Now add shrimps, mushrooms and sliced bell pepper to the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until shrimps are white and slightly firm.

5. Stir in Alfredo sauce, cream and cheese.

6. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Let the shrimps simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Now add cooked pasta and the spices. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat after a minute. Then add freshly chopped parsley and serve hot.