If you want to cook, you must have a pantry with the basic ingredients you need for most of the recipes and also some long-term products that allow you to improvise a dinner at the last minute without having to go to the grocery store every day.

I’m used to do a good weekly shopping, thinking about those six / seven main recipes that I want to make. In this way I can buy fresh products (milk, eggs, vegetables, meat and fish) in the right quantity avoiding waste. And I can even check if I have to restock some canned or frozen food, essentials for cooking and baking.

The following is my standard pantry, although I don’t normally have all the frozen meat and fish that I have listed in the table, and if I have, I try to use them before buying new ones. For frozen vegetables, I usually buy the fresh product, then I wash them, cut everything to the size I need and store them in freezer bags.

The last thing that can’t be missing in the kitchen is aromatic herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, basil, sage, mint, bay leaf etc. I now consider myself lucky because I have a nice garden and a greenhouse where I can always keep fresh herbs, but even when I didn’t have a garden, I always preferred to buy plants (at least basil, rosemary and parsley) to grow on the kitchen windowsill. They don’t cost much and even if they don’t last forever they still last longer than the herbs already cut in a bag. And there’s honestly nothing better than the scent and colour that they give to the kitchen.

Tins, cans and packets
Extra Vergin Olive OilBorlotti Beans Wheat Plain Flour
Sunflower OilCannellini BeansWholemale Strong Flour
Vinegar (normal and balsamic)Green LentilsSpelt Flour
Cooking SaltChickpeasBaking Powder
Coarse SaltAnchovies in oilDark Cocoa Powder
Black PepperCapers in saltDark Chocolate chips
Chilli FlakesBlack and Green OlivesGranulated Sugar
Dried Pasta in different
Tuna in oil or in spring
Soft Brown Sugar
Canned Tomato (passata,
chopped, cherry)
Spices (Nutmeg, Ginger, Cinnamon, Paprika …)Cornflour or Potato Starch
Vegetable StocksRice (Arborio, Basmati, brown rice)
Vanilla Extract
PolentaDried Porcini MushroomsDried Yeast
Frozen Vegetables
OnionsCauliflower FloretsCelery
CarrotsPetit Pois PeasCourgettes
Frozen fish/meat
PrawnsMusselsMinced Beef
Dicec BeefItalian sausagesSliced Chicken Breast
Dairy and eggs
(with a long life)
Unsalted organic butterSmocked Scamorza Organic Eggs
Parmigiano Reggiano o
Grana Padano
Halloumi CheeseOat Milk
Pecorino CheeseMature CheddarSemiskimmed Milk
Fresh vegetables
(with a long life)
GarlicAll purpose PotatoesButternut Squash