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Italian food is ingredient driven and focuses on local, fresh, and seasonal products. Chefs use a variety of ingredients in Italian cooking, but there are some ingredients chefs use more than others. The five key ingredients used in Italian cooking are: pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, real balsamic vinegar, prosciutto and parmesan cheese. Some of the other main ingredients used in Italian cooking are: wine, tomatoes, onions, garlic, marinara sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, capers, rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano.