9 Essential Ingredients of Italian Cuisine
There’s nothing quite like a ripe tomato, whether served on a bed of fresh greens or made into an Italian red sauce to dress a bowl of hearty pasta. Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C and lycopene, a heart-protective antioxidant that may also help prevent some cancers (particularly prostate). Vitamin A, potassium and folate are also among the tomato’s nutritional benefits. Although cooked tomatoes have less vitamin C, their lycopene is more available and antioxidant activity is undiminished.
To boost the tomatoes in your diet, add fresh tomatoes to your salads, soups or pasta dishes, or learn how to make homemade tomato sauce. Or slice a juicy tomato and enjoy the simple, fresh flavor of tomatoes with a piece of whole-grain toast and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.