Italian Herb Blend
In Florence and around Tuscany, you can buy packages of [dried] herb blends at butcher shops, grocers, farmer markets and even souvenir shops. There are 2-3 varieties that consistently show up at the register, on a nearby shelf or in cute little 3 packs to take home for your friends---a little gift from your trip to Italy.
This easy little blend, I use often. I can go to any butcher, and they will have this herb blend containing 4 items:
peperoncino (c'mon you know you want to say it: /pepper-own-CHEE-no/) aglio /AH-lee-o/ sale /SAH lay/ prezzomolo /prets-oh-MO-lo/
For the rest of us that means: red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and parsley. Here is my idea: buy the four and mix yourself. Then you will always have on hand this classic combination of Italian herbs. I like the idea of drying my own flat-leaf Italian parsley; I would add coarse salt, dried garlic and red pepper flakes. Blend amounts to your own liking.
Oh, on the front it also hints: "Insap. Piccante per Spaghetti." In other words: spicy mix for your spaghetti. Think red sauce or ragu; I tossed some into my shredded-carrot saute and it turned out delicious (no doubt the diced pancetta helped, too). It is nice for pizza, to top focaccia... and for gifts! Make spice packets and share them with friends (add a recipe or two for 'use'); there is nothing better than giving your friends ideas for 'what to make for dinner.'