Garlic and Onions

There is a strongly held conviction among many people that Italian food is laden with garlic. This is a bit of an exaggeration and is definitely a generalization. Some Italian dishes are very heavy on garlic, but the majority of Italian recipes call for garlic to be used subtly. It is the onion that is more important with many different varieties used—red and sweet, white and mild, or strong and brown. The gentle frying together of garlic, onion or a combination of onion, carrot, and celery is called a soffritto, and is the traditional way in which many, not to say most Italian recipes begin.