About Italian Cuisine

Everything You Need to Know (And Taste)

Some Italian Food History

Think of Italian food and within a second you’ll probably think of pizza, pasta—maybe even gelato—but Italian food simply cannot be reduced to a stereotypical menu. Not that there’s anything wrong with pizza and pasta. Classic dishes stay forever. It’s just that it would be a shame to neglect some of the world’s most delicious and underrated classic dishes produced throughout the different regions in Italy.

Italian cuisine dates as far back as 2000 years ago into the pre-Roman era. From ancient Greek influence to further international inspiration from visits to China, the Italian food culture witnessed transformations in the incorporation of more foreign ingredients over the course of history. Once the Roman Empire fell, Italian food began to take on diverse regional forms in each city state which led to various styles of forming a meatball or producing cheese and wine. Find out why Milan is famous for their risotto, what the relationship between Bologna and tortellini is, and how Naples makes its signature pizza. Sardinia, for one, is renowned for its simple seafood cuisine from the Mediterranean. Dishes from Sicily reflect North African and Arab influences. Geographically, the differences in dishes from North to South Italy are evident through the ingredients emphasized in appetizers, main courses or desserts.

Traditional Roman Dishes

When in Rome, taste the traditional dishes to learn more about why they still remain popular classics. 

  • Carciofi all romana — roasted Roman artichoke
  • Spaghetti alla carbonara — spaghetti in raw egg yolk, black pepper, guanciale, pecorino
  • Pasta alla gricia — fresh pasta, guanciale, pepper, pecorino, parmesan, olive oil
  • Abbacchio al forno — roasted suckling lamb
  • Puntarelle — Slightly bitter greens, anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil
  • Abbacchio alla scottadito — grilled lamb chops seasoned with thyme and other herbs
  • Filetti di baccalà fritti — fried cod fillets
  • Coda alla vaccinara — butcher-style oxtail, celery, onions, guanciale, herbs
  • Trippa alla romana — Tripe simmered in a spicy tomato sauce

Discover some of the main traditional Italian food across the following regions

Abruzzo - Maccheroni alla chitarra, Cacio e uova

Basilicata - Lagune, Minestra maritata, Acquasale, Pecorino di Filiano, Canestrato di Moliterno DOP, Caciocavallo Polodico, Lucania, Soppressata, Mostacciolo, Cuccia

Calabria - Capocollo di Calabria DOP, Nduja, Giuncata, Abbassata, Caciocavallo Milano DOP, Liquirizia, Mostaccioli, Torrone di Bagnara

Campania - Capocollo, Pizza Margherita, Lasagna Napoletana, Pastiera, Babà

Emilia Romagna - Mortadella di Bologna IGP, Salama da Sugo Ferrarese IGP, Pancetta Canusina, Prosciutto di Parma DOP, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, Aceto Balsamico DOP, Crescenti, Cappellacci, Erbazzone

Friuli Venezia Giulia - Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP, Muset, Cevapcici, Frico, Gubana, Strudel, Trieste Granseola, Risotto ai porcini

Lazio - Cacio e pepe, Amatriciana, Supplì, Coda alla Vaccinara, Abbacchio, Mortadella di Amatrice, Ricotta Romana

Liguria - Pesto Genovese, Trenette, Ciuppin, Buridda, Cappon Magro, Fugassa, Farinata di ceci, Pandolce, Zuppa di Cozze

Lombardia - Risotto alla Milanese, Saffron, Polenta, Pizzoccheri, Tortelli di Zucca, Gorgonzola DOP, Taleggio DOP, Bresaola DOP, Cassoeula, Mostarda di Cremona, Panettone, Torrone di Cremona 

Marche - Vincisgrassi, Minestra di Lumachelle, Minestra di Trippa, Brodetto, Piolotto, Porchetta, Prosciutto di Carpegna DOP, Ciauscolo, Casciotta d’Urbino DOP, Raviggiolo del Montefeltro, Cicerchiata, Funghetti di Offida

Molise - Scapece de licette, Cavatieddi, Sagne, Pecorino, Scamorza, Caciocavallo, Provolone, Ventricina

Piemonte - Cardo Gobbo, Tartufo Bianco, Agnolotti, La Finanziera, Brasato al Barolo, Taleggio, Ossolano d’Alpe, Castellano, Monte Bianco, Grissini

Puglia - Altamura, Orecchiette, Ciambotta, Canestrato DOP, Pecorino, Ricotta, Mostaccioli

Trentino Alto Adige - Canederli, Speck, Radicchio with Speck, Tirolese Canederli, Beef Chops with Onion, Apple Strudel 

Umbria - Castelluccio IGP lentils, White truffles, Pecorino, Prosciutto di Norcia IGP, Cheese Buns, Spaghetti with truffle, Umbrian Style Veal Steak, Pan pepato

Valle d’Aosta - Polenta, Fontina DOP, Carbonade, Lardo d’Arnad, Cabbage Flan, Veal Ribs with Fontina Cheese, Renette Apple Dessert 

Veneto - Polenta with baccalà, , Baccalà alla Vicentina, Fegato alla Veneziana, Pastissada, Brodetti, Asiago DOP, Pandoro, Vol au vent with radicchio and fondue, Crepes with Treviso radicchio, Codfish Vicenza-style, Zaleti

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