Italian food is one of the few global foods which is savored all over the world as part of their daily menus. Beautiful Italy attracts her visitors to explore the marvelous scenery, modern metropolitan architecture, unique cultural heritage and mouth-watering cuisine. Italians are very keen about their food’s taste as well as its presentation. No matter which part of the world one belongs to, almost everyone has had a taste of the most popular Italian dishes from pizza and pasta to gelato and tiramisu. We are listing here our best picks among the famous and favorite dishes which Italy has to offer.
Pizza and Pasta
Though they are famous all over the world and have been accommodated as a part of daily lunch menus, pizza and pasta are known to be the mother of all traditional Italian dishes. Pasta varies according to the city you are going to eat it in. If you are travelling in Rome you will be served with Pasta Alla Carbonara which is prepared with Pecorino cheese, guanciale (a special Italian meat made from Pork) eggs and black pepper. If you are exploring Vatican City, Spaghetti alla Gricia should be your choice which is made with eggs, cheese, bacon, chili pepper and black pepper. Among the vast variety of pizza, pizza margherita is the famous and a must try item. It is a crispy, thin-crust pizza topped with garlic, olives. Basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Arancini is a golden brown and crispy dish made with stuffed rice balls. Crunchy breadcrumbs are applied as a coating on the fried rice balls which are usually filled with tomato sauce, ragu sauce, mozzarella cheese and peas. Just like pizza and pasta, Arancini also has a diversified variety based upon the regions. The regional variations are cooked with different shapes and fillings as per the local tastes and ingredients. Some most popular ones are arancini con ragù, arancini con funghi, arancini con burro, and arancini con melanzane.
This well known and most loved dish found its origins in the city of Naples. Lasagne, or singular lasagna, is traditionally prepared using baked sheets of lasagna pasta with layers of ground meat, mozzarella cheese, onions, cloves and varieties of sauces such as milk-infused bechemel, ragu and tomato sauce. In several other regions, lasagna is made with many combinations of mozzarella and ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, beef, pork or chicken, spinach, olives and is usually flavored with garlic, wine and oregano. If you want to have a true taste of Italian cuisine, Lasagna should not be missed out.
Saltimbocca is highly famous among the local Italians as well as the foreign travelers. It contains thin sliced veal topped with herb leaves and salty prosciutto. All these ingredients are pressed together using a toothpick and are fried until the meat is cooked properly. The meat is used in preparing saltimbocca as per taste and custom such as chicken, pork or mutton are also used. A well-cooked serving of saltimbocca gives out a delicious taste while melting away in the mouth.
It is a frozen Italian dessert, which derives its name from the Italian word gelatus, meaning frozen. Its thick, smooth and creamy texture makes it different from its American counterpart, as both are often confused with each other. Gelato is a refreshing way to beat down the heat on a shiny summer day. It is available in various flavors like chocolate, mango, lemon, tiramisu, pistachio and raspberry among others. Moreover, it is said that calorific value of gelato is 70 percent less than the traditional ice cream.
Tiramisu is another well-known Italian dessert loved by locals and foreigners alike. The traditional recipe is made up of ladyfingers dipped in coffee or chocolate while layering it with a mixture of sugar, eggs, mascarpone and flavored with cocoa powder. The serving is mostly prepared into round cakes or square biscuits. The dish is light, thick and foamy. Tiramisu has evolved by chefs over time whereby replacing the main ingredient, coffee, with chocolate, amaretto, berry, lemon, pineapple, strawberry and even beer.
Another favorite Italian dish which is made from dry-cured ham, cut in thin slices and served uncooked. It has two varieties: prosciutto cotto, the cooked type, and prosciutto crudo which is the uncooked and most famous type of prosciutto. The ultimate taste and quality of prosciutto is dependent entirely upon the curing of meat which can be ham, beef or mutton but ham is most commonly used among the meat varieties. The preparation can take from nine months to two years depending upon the size of ham. The dry-cured ham is finally served with pasta or wrapped around fruits.