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Italian cuisine as a national cuisine known today has evolved through centuries of social and political changes, with its roots traced back to 4th century BC. Significant change occurred with discovery of the New World which helped shape much of what is known as Italian cuisine today with the introduction of items such as potatoes, tomatoes, bell pepper and maize, which are all central parts of the cuisine but not introduced in scale until the 18th century.
Ingredients and dishes vary by region. There are many significant regional dishes that have become both national and regional. Many dishes that were once regional, however, have proliferated in different variations across the country in the present day. Cheese and wine are also a major part of the cuisine, playing different roles both regionally and nationally with their many variations and Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) (regulated appellation) laws. Coffee, and more specifically espresso, has become highly important to the cultural cuisine of Italy.
Italian cuisine has evolved extensively over the centuries. Although the country known as Italy today had not officially formed until the 19th century, the cuisine can claim roots going back as far as 4th century BC. Through various influences throughout the centuries, including neighboring regions, conquerors, high-profile chefs, political upheavals as well as the discovery of the New World, a concrete cuisine has formed to what is known today as one of the premiere cuisines in the world.
The first known Italian food writer was a Greek Sicilian named Archestratus who lived in Syracuse in the 4th century BCE. His writing was a poem that spoke of using "top quality and seasonal" ingredients of the freshest nature. He also stated that the flavors of the dishes should not be masked by spices, herbs, or other seasonings with an importance put upon this style of preparation for fish. This style of cuisine seemed to be forgotten during the 1st century AD when De re coquinaria was published with 470 recipes included many with heavy usage of spices, herbs which would hide much of the natural flavor of the dish. The Romans employed the best Greek bakers to produce their breads, imported pecorini from Sicily as the Sicilians were known for being the best cheese makers. The Romans were also known for rearing of goats for butchering, and gardening of artichokes and leeks.
As Sicily had already obtained culinary traditions from Rome and Athens, a cuisine developed in Sicily that some consider the first real Italian cuisine.
Muslims invaded Sicily during the 9th century as most of what is known today as Northern Europe was being attacked by Viking raiders. The Arabs introduced spinach, almonds and rice and some say spaghetti as it made its possible first appearance during the 12th century AD when the Norman king made a survey of Sicily and noted that he saw people making long strings made from flour and water called atriya, which eventually became trii which is another term used for spaghetti in southern Italy. Normans also introduced casseroling, salt cod (baccala) and stockfish which remain extremely popular today.
Food preservation techniques were a necessity as refrigeration did not exist. Preservation was either chemical or physical. Meats and fish would be smoked, dried or kept on ice. Brine and salt were used to preserve items like pickles, herring and to cure pork meat. Root vegetables were also preserved in brine after they had been parboiled. Other items used to preserve foods included oil, vinegar or immersing animal proteins in their own congealed, rendered fat. For preserving fruits, liquor, honey and sugar were used.
Making noodles; Tacuinum Sanitatis, 14th century.
The northern regions of future Italy started to show a mix of Germanic and Roman culture while the southern portion continued to reflect the influences of Arab culture as they controlled much of the Mediterranean trade routes, as such much of the Mediterranean cuisine had been spread by the Arab trade. The oldest Italian book on cuisine is Liber de coquina written in Naples during the 13th century. Dishes included "Roman-style" cabbage (ad usum romanorum), ad usum campanie which was "small leaves" prepared in the "Campanian manner", a bean dish reflecting the Marca di Trevisio, a torta, compositum londardicum which are similar to dishes prepared today in Italy. In two other books from the 14th century recipes are found for Roman pastello, Lavagna pie, use of salt from Sardinia or Chioggia.
During the 15th century Maestro Martino was chef to the Patriarch of Aquileia at the Vatican. His manuscript Libro de arte coquinaria describes a more refined and elegant cuisine. His book contains a recipe for Maccaroni Siciliani which was made by wrapping dough around a thin iron rod and dried in the sun. The macaroni was to be cooked in capon stock flavored with saffron, illustrating the Arab influence. Of particularly note is Martino's shedding the use of excessive spices in favor of fresh herbs. The Roman recipes mentioned in the text includes recipes for coppiette and cabbage dishes. His Florentine dishes included eggs with a Bolognese torta, Sienese torta and for Genoese recipes such as piperata, macaroni, squash, mushrooms, and spinach pie with onions.
Martino's manuscript was included in a book printed during 1475 in Venice written by Bartolomeo Platina entitled De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On Honest Pleasure and Good Health"). Platina puts Martino's "Libro" in regional context, writing about ingredients coming from the regions, including perch from Lake Maggiore, sardines from Lake Garda, grayling from Adda, hens from Padua, olives from Bologna and Piceno, turbot from Ravenna, rudd from Lake Trasimeno, carrots from Viterbo, bass from Tiber, roviglioni and shad from Lake Albano, snails from Rieti, figs from Tuscolo, grapes from Narni, oil from Cassino, oranges from Naples and moray from Campania. Grains from Lombardy and Campania are also mentioned as is honey from Sicily and Taranto. The wines he mentions are from the Ligurian coast, Grecco from Tuscany and San Severino and Trebbiano from Tuscany and Piceno.
Early modern era
The courts of Florence, Rome, Venice and Ferrara were part of the creation of fine cooking in Italy. The court of Estes in Ferrara was a central figure to the creation of this cuisine. Christoforo Messisbugo, steward to Ippolito d'Este, published Banchetti Composizioni di Vivande in 1549. In this work Messisbugo gives recipes for items such as pies and tarts (containing 124 recipes with various fillings). The work does emphasize the use of Eastern spices and sugar, whose use was otherwise diminishing.
Bartolomeo Scappi personal chef to Pope Pius V
In 1570 Opera was written by Bartolomeo Scappi personal chef to Pope Pius V. This was a five-volume set that gave the most comprehensive detail of Italian cooking up to the period. The work contained over 1,000 recipes, with information on banquets including displays and menus as well as illustrations of kitchen and table utensils. The difference between most books written for the royal courts and this volume is its shedding of game and other meats and includes instead domestic animals and courtyard birds which was more inline with the "modest household". Recipes are also included how to clean and use lesser cuts of meats including tongue, head, and shoulder. The third book contains recipes for fish, or Lent cookery. Preparations for fish are simple including poaching, broiling, grilled, or fried after being marinated. Particular attention is given to seasons in which fish should be caught and in which location. The final volume includes pies, tarts, fritters and includes a recipe for a Neapolitan pizza. This version of the Neapolitan pizza is not the savory version known today, it was instead a sweet version as tomatoes had not yet been introduced to Italy. There were recipes for corn and turkey however, which were items from the New World.
L'arte di Ben Cucinare published by Bartolomeo Stefani in 1662
During the first decade of the 17th century chef Giangiacomo Castelvetro published Brieve Racconto di Tutte le Radici di Tutte l'Herbe et di Tutti i Frutti (A Brief Account of all Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit) which was translated into English by Gillian Riley. Originally from Modena, Castelvetro moved to England because of his Protestant background. The book included a listing of Italian vegetables and fruits as well as their preparation. The chef's preparation of vegetables featured them as a central part of the meal, not just accompaniments. The favored preparation (still popular in Italy today) was to simmer vegetables in salted water and serving them warm or cold with olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper, lemon juice and or orange juice. Another preparation includes roasting vegetables wrapped in damp paper over charcoal or embers with a drizzle of olive oil, again a technique still used. Castelvetro's book is separated into seasons with mentions of hop shoots in the spring and truffles in the winter, detailing the truffle search with the use of pigs.
In 1662 Bartolomeo Stefani chef to Gonzagas published L'Arte di Ben Cucinare. He was the last chef to publish a book of Italian cuisine, but the first to offer a full section on vitto ordinario ("ordinary food"). The book contained a section on a banquet given by Gonzagas for Queen Christina of Sweden with details for preparation prior to the banquet, preparation of the food and table settings including each guest having a setting of a knife, fork, spoon, glass, a plate instead of bowls often used up to this point and a napkin. Other books were published at this time to illustrate how scalco (server i.e. the waiter) should manage themselves while serving their guests. A book Galatheo by Giovanni della Casa. The book instructed waiters to not scratch their heads or other parts of themselves, not to spit, cough or sneeze while serving diners. The book also instructed diners to not use their fingers while eating as well as not wipe their sweat with their napkin.
Much of what is known as Italy today was still governed by France, Spain, and Austria in the 18th century. It was at the beginning of the 18th century that the culinary books of Italy began to show the regionalism of Italian cuisine instead of the cuisine of France. The books written at the time were also no longer addressed to professional chefs but to bourgeois housewives. Originating in booklet form, periodicals such as La cuoca cremonese (The cook of Cremona) written in 1794 gives a sequence of ingredients according to season along with chapters on meat, fish and vegetables. As the century progressed these books increased in size, popularity and frequency.
The 18th century peasant diet consisted of heavy foods, necessary in an age where food was required to produce energy for the daily toil. Medical texts of the time warned peasants from eating refined foods as it was poor for their digestion and their bodies required a heavy meal to satisfy their hunger. It was also thought that peasants had coarse stomachs which were unable to digest refined foods and it was believed by some that peasants ate poorly because they were accustomed to eating poorly, resulting from the fact that many peasants had to resort to eating rotten foods and moldy breads in order to survive.
Cucina Borghese published by Chef Giovanni Vialardi in 19th century
In 1779 Antonio Nebbia from Macerata, in the Marche region, wrote Il Cuoco Maceratese (The Cook of Macerata). In this book, Nebbia addressed the importance of local vegetables plus pasta and gnocchi. Instead of pureed soups in the French style, they included Mediterranean vegetables along with pasta or rice. For stocks, vegetables and chicken were favored over meat. Similarly, Vincenzo Corrado wrote Il Cuoco Galante (The Courteous Cook) in Naples in 1773 which featured regional vegetables and ingredients. Particular emphasis was given to Vitto Pitagorico (vegetarian food) in his words "Pitagoric food consists of fresh herbs, roots, flowers, fruits, seeds and all that is produced in the earth for our nourishment. It is so called because Pythagoras, as is well known, only used such produce. There is no doubt that this kind of food appears to be more natural to man, and the use of meat is noxious." It was also this book that the tomato took its first central role with thirteen recipes. Zuppa alli Pomidoro first appears in Corrado's book, it is a dish similar to today's Tuscan Pappa al Pomodoro. In Corrado's 1798 edition he introduced a "Treatise on the Potato" after the approval of France through Antoine-Augustin Parmentier's successful promotion.
In the 19th century chef Giovanni Vialardi, chef to the first king of Italy, in his book A Treatise of Modern Cookery and Patisserie Vialardi wrote on recipes "suitable for a modest household." Many of his recipes included regional dishes from Turin including twelve recipes for potatoes Genoese Cappon Magro, still a regional dish today. Published in 1829, Il Nuovo Cuoco Milanese Economico written by Giovanni Felice Luraschi feature dishes regional to Milan including Kidney with Anchovies and Lemon and Gnocchi alla Romana, also used to this day. Gian Battista and Giovanni Ratto published La Cucina Genovese in 1871 and addressed the regional cuisine of Liguria. This book contained the first recipe for pesto. La Cucina Teorico-Pratica written by Ippolito Cavalcanti mentions the first recipe for pasta with tomatoes. La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiare bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well), by Pellegrino Artusi, first published in 1891, is widely regarded as the canon of classic modern Italian cuisine, and its use is still widespread throughout Italy. Its recipes come mainly from Romagna and Tuscany, the regions where he was born and raised and where he subsequently lived.
The 20 Regioni of Italy
Each area has its own specialties, primarily at regional level, but also even at provincial level. These regional variances can come from the influence of a bordering country (such as France or Austria), vicinity to the sea or mountains as well as economic progress. Italian cuisine is not only highly regional, but is also distinguished by being very seasonal with high priority placed on the use of fresh, seasonal produce.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia shares many traditions with the bordering former Yugoslavia. The San Daniele del Friuli hams come from this region. Carnia in the northern region is known for its bacon and Montasio cheese. Collio, Grave del Friuli, and Colli Orientali are regional wine favorites. The dishes of the region take on the influence of Austrian, Hungarian, Slovene, and Croatian dishes. Beer halls of the region feature Viennese sausage, goulash and Bohemian hare. Many of the desserts of the region are flour based, such as strudels. Polenta is a staple and it finds its way into many variations including stirred dishes, baked dishes and can be seen served with sausage, cheese, fish, or meat. Dishes made with pork are often seen and can often be spicy and are often prepared over the open hearth called the fogolar.
A dish of risotto
Veneto is known for risotto. It is a dish whose ingredients vary by location, with fish and seafood being added closer to the coast and pumpkin, asparagus, radicchio and frogs' legs appearing further away from the Adriatic. Beans and other legumes are seen in these areas with the dish pasta e fagioli being a combination of beans and pasta. Veneto features heavier dishes using exotic spices and sauces. Ingredients like stockfish or simple marinated anchovies are found here as well. Less fish is eaten in Veneto and more meat and sausages are preferred such as the famous sopressata and garlic salami. High quality vegetables are prized here with red radicchio from Treviso being prized as well as asparagus from Bassano del Grappa.
Goulash with gnocchi
Prior to the Council of Trent in 1550 Trentino-Alto Adige was known for the simplicity of its cuisine. When the prelates of the Church came they brought the art of fine cooking to the region. Fresh water fish is a specialty of this region. In later years the cuisine of the Republic of Venice and the Habsburg Empire were adopted. In the Alto Adige Alpine traditions are embraced which includes Slav, Austrian, and Hungarian cuisines. Goulash can again be found here as a regular Sunday dish. Potatoes, dumplings and homemade sauerkraut called crauti. Lard is a popular ingredient in this region. The national pasta, tomatoes and olive oil are used in this region as well.
Rice is a popular ingredient in Lombardy often found in soups as well as risotto. Regional cheeses are robiola or crescenza, taleggio, gorgonzola (from the namesake town) and grana padano being particularly important (the vast plains of central and southern Lombardy allowing for intensive cattle-raising). For the same reason butter and cream are used. Single pot dishes are popular here with the working class which take less labor to create. In the areas of Bergamo, Brescia, and Valtellina polenta is popular. In Mantua village festivals feature tortelli di zucca (ravioli with pumpkin filling) accompanied by melted butter and followed by turkey stuffed with chicken or other stewed meats.
Bread thickened soups of the hearty variety are customary in this region as well as cheese fondues called fonduta typical of the Alpine region. Polenta is another popular staple along with rye bread, smoked bacon, lard, chestnuts and game meats found in the mountain and forest regions. Butter and cream are also important ingredients in the creation of stewed, roasted and braised dishes.
Piedmont is a region where seasonal gathering of nuts, fungi, cardoons as well as seasonal hunting (especially wild game) and fishing takes place. Truffles, garlic, seasonal vegetables, cheese and rice are all used in this region. Wines from the Nebbiolo grape such as Barolo and Barbaresco are produced as well as wines from the Barbera grape, fine sparkling wines, and the sweet, lightly sparkling, Moscato d'Asti. Castelmagno is a prized cheese of the region. Filetto Baciato is the regions style of prosciutto made from pork fillet or other lean portion of pork marinated in white wine, coated with a salami paste and stuffed into a casing to age for six months.
In Liguria herbs and vegetables as well as seafood find their way into the cuisine. Savory pies and cakes are popular in the region. Onions and olive oil are used. The Ligurians, constricted by a lack of land suited to wheat productions made the most of chick-pea in farinata (plain or topped with onion, artichokes, sausage, cheese or young anchovies) and polenta-like panissa. Hilly or mountainous districts used chestnuts as a ready source of carbohydrates and sugar. Ligurian pastas include corzetti from the Polcevera valley, pansoti, a triangular shaped ravioli filled with vegetables, piccagge, pasta ribbons made with a small amount of egg and commonly served with artichoke sauce or pesto, trenette, made from wholewheat flour cut into long strips and served with pesto, boiled beans and potatoes, and trofie, a Ligurian gnocchi made from wholegrain flour or white wheat flour, made into a spiral shape and cooked with beans and potatoes and often tossed in pesto. Many Ligurians were forced to emigrate in late XIX and early XX centuries; as a result, Argentina style Asado a la cruz can be found in local fairs during summer.
Emilia-Romagna is known for its egg pasta made with soft wheat flour, indeed it is the Pasta capital of the North. Bologna is famous for many pasta dishes like tortellini, lasagne verdi, gramigna and tagliatelle which are found also in other towns of the region. In addition Romagna has Cappelletti, Garganelli, Strozzapreti, Spoglia Lorda and Tortelli alla Lastra. In Emilia, from Parma to Piacenza, rice is also eaten though to a lesser extent, as it is cultivated in the Po Valley. Polenta was historically the staple in all the Appenine mountain areas of both Emilia and Romagna. Centuries old products like authentic Aceto balsamico tradizionale or balsamic vinegar are made only in the Emilia towns of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale must be made following legally binding traditional procedures. Another centuries old product, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced in Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and Bologna and is much used in the cuisine. Though a lot of fish is eaten on the Adriatic coast, this is mainly a meat eating region and many different meats are eaten here including Romagna Lamb and Mora Romagnola Pork as well as game. The region is also famous for its many excellent cured pork products: Bologna, Parma and Modena hams, including Parma culatello and Salame Felino and Piacenza pancetta and coppa. It is also famous for cooked pork products like Bologna's mortadella and salame rosa, Modena's zampone, capello di prete and cotechino and Ferrara's salama da sugo
Simplicity is central to the cuisine in Tuscany. Legumes, bread, cheese, crisp vegetables, mushrooms and fresh seasonal fruit are used. Olive oil is made from the Moraiolo, Leccino, Frantoio, and Pendolino olives. White truffles from San Miniato are a specialty that appear in October and November. Beef of the highest quality come from the Chiana Valley, specifically a breed known as Maremma used for the famed t-bone steaks known as Florentine steak. Pork-based products, such as Prosciutto Toscano are also common.
Most of the dishes of Umbria are prepared with the simple techniques of boiling and roasting with the addition of local olive oil and herbs for flavor. Vegetable dishes are more popular in the spring and summer while they are in season, while the fall and winter introduces meats from the hunting season and black truffles from Norcia. Sausage making is very popular in this region produced by the Norcini (Umbrian Butchers, native of Norcia). Lenticchie di Castelluccio are prized lentils found in Castelluccio. The regions of Spoleto and Monteleone are known for their production of spelt. Freshwater fish are also found in the cuisine including lasca, trout, freshwater perch, grayling, eel, barbel, whitefish, and tench.
On the coast of Marche, fresh fish and seafood are produced. In the inland regions wild and domestic pigs are used for sausages and hams. The hams are not thinly sliced, but cut into bite-sized chunks when served. Suckling pig, chicken and fish are often stuffed in this region before being roasted or placed on the spit.
Hearty pasta dishes find their way into the cuisine of Lazio, like the renowned amatriciana pasta dressing, based on spicy red pepper and guanciale. The region prides itself on being able to use the lesser known cuts of pork and beef in tasty dishes, such as the entrail-based pajata and coda alla vaccinara. Some Jewish influence can also be seen in the cuisine, with Jews having been part of Roman milieu since the 1st century BC. Local vegetables, especially globe artichokes, are used.
Abruzzo and Molise
Chilies (peperoncini) are seen in the cuisine of Abruzzo where they are called diavoletti ("little devils") for the spicy heat they add to dishes. Centerbe ("Hundred Herbs") is a strong (72%), spicy herbal liqueur drunk by the local people here. Pasta, meat, and vegetables are central to the cuisine of Abruzzo and Molise. Lamb is used, combined with pasta. A special tool used to cut the local pasta is the chitarra (literally "guitar"), a fine stringed tool that the dough is pressed through. Another famous dish is arrosticini, little pieces of castrated lamb, impaled on a wooden stick and cooked on coals, very famous in Pescara. Saffron is a favorite spice of the region, grown in the province of L'Aquila, with the greatest production from the plains of Navelli. Although its popularity has slightly waned in recent years it can still be seen in some dishes which are central to Italian cuisine.
Produce from Campania includes tomatoes, peppers, spring onions, potatoes, artichokes, fennel, lemons and oranges which all take on the flavor of the volcanic soil of the region. The Gulf of Naples offers fresh fish and seafood. Durum wheat is used in the production of the region's pastas. Campanian mozzarella is highly prized since it is made from the milk of the water buffalo. The traditional pizzas of the region are well known and take advantage of the fresh vegetables and cheese found there. Desserts include pastiera, sfogliatelle and rum-dipped baba.
Much of Italian-American cuisine is based on that of Campania as well as Sicily, heavily Americanized to reflect ingredients and living conditions in the United States. In addition, most forms of pizza eaten around the world derive ultimately from the Neapolitan style, though greatly modified over the course of the 20th century.
The northern portion of Puglia uses copious amounts of garlic and onion. The region is known for its dried pasta made from durum wheat flour. Fresh vegetables include tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, potatoes, spinach, eggplants, cauliflower, fennel, Belgian endive, as well as legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans. Apulia is the largest producer of olive oil in Italy. The closeness to the sea brings fish and seafood to the table, especially oysters, and mussels. Goat and lamb are seen on the table here occasionally.
Pork is an integral part of Basilicata's cuisine, often made into sausages or roasted on a spit by home cooks. Mutton and lamb are also popular meats in the region. Pasta is another common ingredient, made from duram wheat and water. The accompanying sauces for the pasta are generally of the meat or vegetable based variety. Spicy peperoncini are also popular in Basilicata. The bitter digestif Amaro Lucano is from this region.
The cuisine of Calabria has been influenced by the conquerors and visitors of the region's past. The Arabs introduced oranges, lemons, raisins, artichokes and egg plants. Cistercian monks introduced agricultural practices to the region along with their skills in processing dairy products. French rule under the House of Anjou, and later Napoleon, along with Spanish influence, affected the language and culinary skills as seen in the naming conventions of items such as cake, gata, from the French gateau. Seafood includes swordfish, shrimp, lobster, sea urchin and squid. Melons also grown in this region with watermelon, charleston gray, crimson sweet, cantelope, tendrale verde, piel de sapo and invernale giallo being served in a chilled Macedonia di frutta (fruit salad) or wrapped in Prosciutto.
The influence of the Ancient Greeks can be found here: Dionysus has been said to have introduced wine to the region. The Romans later conquered the island and introduced lavish dishes based on goose. The Byzantines introduced sweet and sour flavors while during the 10th and 11th centuries the Arabs brought apricots, sugar, citrus, sweet melons, rice, saffron, raisins, nutmeg, clove, black pepper, and cinnamon which are all still seen in the cuisine today. The Normans and Hohenstaufens introduced a fondness for meat dishes. The Spanish introduced numerous items from the New World including cocoa, maize, turkey, tomatoes and other produce items. Tuna, sea bream, sea bass, cuttlefish, swordfish and other seafood are a part of the Sicilian cuisine.
Rock lobster, scampi, squid, tuna, sardines and other seafood and fish figure prominently into the cuisine. Suckling pig and wild boar are roasted on the spit or boiled in hearty stews of beans, vegetables and thickened with dry bread. Fresh herbs such as mint and myrtle are used. Sardinian bread is made in a drier format, which keeps longer than high-moisture breads as well, examples include civraxiu, coccoi pinatus, a highly decorative bread and pistoccu made with flour and water only, meant to travel distances with herders, but served at home often with tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic and a strong cheese.
Meals in Italy usually contain no fewer than 3-4 courses. Meals are seen as a time to spend with family and friends instead of immediate sustenance, as such the daily meals can be longer than in other cultures. During holidays, many family feasts will last for many hours.
In many homes today the traditional Italian menu is kept for special events (such as weddings) while the everyday menu only includes the first and second course, the side dish and coffee. One notable aspect of an Italian meal, is that the primo or first course, is usually the more filling dish and will consist of either risotto or pasta, both being rich in carbohydrates. Modern Italian cuisine also includes single courses (all-in-one courses), providing carbohydrates and proteins at the same time (e.g. pasta and legumes).
Aperitif usually enjoyed as an appetizer before a large meal, includes Campari, Cinzano, Prosecco, Aperol, Spritz and Vermouth.
literally "before (the) meal", hot or cold appetizers
"first course", usually consists of a hot dish like pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta or soup.
"second course", the main dish, usually fish or meat. Traditionally veal, pork, and chicken are the most commonly used meat, at least in the North, though beef has become more popular since World War II and wild game is very popular, particularly in Tuscany. Fish are those which are caught locally.
"side dish", may consist of a salad or cooked vegetables. A traditional menu features salad along with the main course.
Formaggio e frutta
"cheese and fruits", the first dessert. Local Cheeses may also be part of the Antipasto or Contorno as well.
"dessert", such as cakes and cookies
"digestives", liquors/liqueurs (grappa, amaro, limoncello, sambuca, nocino) sometimes referred to as ammazzacaff ("coffee killer")
Note: On restaurant menus, these terms may be referred to as Primi, Secondi, Contorni, and Digestivi.
Each type of establishment has a defined role and traditionally sticks to it. Below is a listing of dining and drinking establishments in Italy.
Places to dine out
* Agriturismo - Working farms that often offer accommodations and meals. Often the meals are served to guests only. Marked by green and gold sign with a knife and fork on it.
* Bar/Caffe - Locations which serve coffee, soft drinks, juice and alcohol. Hours are from 6am to 10pm. Foods sold include brioche, panini, tramezzini or spuntini (snacks) which can include olives, potato crisps and small pieces of frittata.
* Birreria - A bar that offers beer found in central and northern regions of Italy.
* Frasca/Locanda - Friulian wine producers that often open for the evening and many stay open late offering food along with their wines.
* Osteria - Focused on simple food of the local region, usually only having a verbal menu. Many are open at night only but some open for lunch from 12:30 to 3 pm. They will then reopen at 7 pm for dinner with a late closing time.
* Paninoteca - Sandwich specialty shop open during the day.
* Pizzeria - Wood fired pizzas are a specialty of Italy.
* Polentaria - A regional establishment seen in limited number in the northern part of Italy above Emilia-Romagna.
* Ristorante - Often offers upscale cuisine and printed menus.
* Spaghetteria - Originating in Napoli, offering pasta dishes and other main courses.
* Tavola Calda - Literally "hot table", offers pre-made regional dishes ordered from a queue, often served on a tray. Most open at 11am and close late.
* Trattoria - A dining establishment often family run with inexpensive prices and an informal atmosphere.
See also: espresso
Moka per il caffe
Italian style coffee (caffe), also known as espresso is made from the same coffee beans as any other style of coffee. However, beans prepared for espresso are usually roasted dark, and are often a blend of coffee beans of various origins. In Italy the espresso is roasted medium to medium dark in the north, and gets darker moving south, though throughout all of Italy a very prominent coffee in the blends are Brazilian coffees.
A common misconception is that espresso contains more caffeine than coffee but the opposite is true. The longer roasting period for the beans extracts more of the caffeine and thus giving espresso roast beans less caffeine content. The modern espresso machine invented in 1937 by Achille Gaggia uses a pump and pressure system with water heated up to 90-95C (194-203F) and forced with high pressure through a few grams of finely ground espresso roast beans with a pressure of nine bars in 25-30 seconds resulting in about 25 milliliters or two tablespoons of liquid.
Home espresso makers are simpler but work under the same principle. La Napoletana is a four part stove-top unit with grounds placed inside a filter loosely, the kettle portion is filled with water and once boiling, the unit is inverted to drip through the grounds. The Moka per il caffe is a three part stove-top unit that is placed on the stove-top with loosely packed grounds in a strainer, the water rises from steam pressure, and is forced through the grounds into the top portion. It is unlike a percolator in that the brewed coffee is not re-circulated.
It is usually served in a demitasse in small quantity. Caffe macchiato is a topped with a bit of steamed milk or foam; ristretto is made with less water, and is stronger; cappuccino is mixed or topped with steamed, mostly frothy, milk. It is generally considered a morning beverage; caffelatte is generally equal parts espresso and steamed milk, similar to caffe au lait, and is typically served in a large cup. Latte macchiato (spotted milk) is a glass of warm milk with a bit of coffee.
DOCG label on wine bottle
Main article: Italian wine
Italy produces the largest amount of wine in the world and is the largest exporter and consumer of wine. Two-thirds of the wine produced is bulk wine used for blending in France and Germany. The wine distilled into spirits in Italy exceeds the production of wine in the entirety of the New World. Although Italy produces the largest amount of wine in the world, only approximately 25% of it is put into bottles for individual sale. Much like the variety of regional cuisines of Italy, the wines are extremely varied with twenty separate wine regions.
Those vineyards producing great wines have been attempting to wash away the old image of jug wines so often associated with Italian wine production. To promote this process the Italian government created a number of laws to regulate the wine industry. The Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) law passed in 1963 regulates the place of origin. The laws associate with DOC have been regularly updated. One of the updates in 1980, created the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). DOCG is reserved for only the best wines in Italy. These laws regulate place of origin, quality, production methods and the type of grape used to produce the wine. The designation of Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) is a slightly less restrictive designation regulating place which is considered to help a wine maker graduate to the (DOC) level.
Every region has its own holiday recipes. In Sicily and other Italian communities worldwide, on March 19, La Festa di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph's Day), thanks are given to St. Joseph for preventing a famine in Sicily during the Middle Ages. The fava bean was the crop which saved the population from starvation, and is a traditional part of St. Joseph's Day altars and traditions. Other customs celebrating this festival include wearing red clothing, eating Sicilian pastries known as zeppole and giving food to the needy.
On Christmas Eve a symbolic fast is observed (the so-called "cena di magro", the "light dinner") excluding beef, pork and lamb meat and including courses based mainly on fish and other seafood, but also on snails and frogs. On Christmas Italians often serve tortellini as a first course. The typical cakes of the Christmas season are panettone and pandoro. On Easter Sunday, lamb-based dishes are served in both northern and southern Italy. Typical at Easter Sunday in Umbria and Tuscany is also a breakfast with salami, boiled eggs, wine and Easter Cakes and pizzas.
List of Italian dishes
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
These dishes are representative of Italian cuisine.
Dishes and recipes
* Insalata caprese
* Insalata russa
* Prosciutto e melone
* Crostini con condimenti misti
* Verdure in pinzimonio
* Cocktail di gamberi
* Olive ascolane
* Mozzarelline fritte
* Pizzette e salatini
* Peperoni imbottiti
* noodle soup
Italian soup and sauce recipes
* Bagna Cauda
* Pasta e fagioli
* Risi e bisi
* Sugo al Pomodoro
* Grine Sauce
Preparation of Piadina, a Romagna flatbread.
* Pita (typical bread of Catanzaro)
* Pane di Altamura
* Pane carasau
* Colomba Pasquale
* Coppia Ferrarese
* Panelle di ceci
* Bozza pratese
* Pane di Genzano (Lazio)
* Pane casareccio
* Pane toscano (without salt)
* Michetta (typical bread of Milano)
* Rosetta (typical bread of Roma)
* Ciriola (typical bread of Roma)
* Pane pugliese
* Grissini torinesi
Common pizza recipes
* Focaccia al rosmarino - based on rosemary and olive oil, sometimes served with prosciutto. Usually served as appetizer
* Pizza marinara - based on tomato, oregano and garlic
* Pizza Margherita - based on tomato and mozzarella
* Pizza alla napoletana (or Napoli) - tomato, mozzarella and anchovy
* Pizza siciliana - tomato, mozzarella, capperi, olive and anchovy
* Pizza romana - tomato, mozzarella, capperi and anchovy
* Pizza pugliese - tomato, mozzarella and onions
* Pizza capricciosa - with tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, artichokes, black and green olives
* Pizza quattro stagioni - based on tomato and divided in four sectors, one for each season:
o Spring: olives and artichokes
o Summer: pepper
o Autumn: tomato and mozzarella (like Pizza Margherita)
o Winter: mushrooms and boiled egg
* Pizza ai quattro formaggi - with four different cheeses (sometimes melted, sometimes in sectors)
* Pizza ai funghi e salsicce (or boscaiola)- with mozzarella, mushrooms and sausages, with or without tomato.
* Calzone - folded over dough usually filled with ricotta and other ingredients
Pasta varieties - (over 650)
Main article: List of pasta
* Bavette, bigoli, bucatini
* Cannelloni, crespelle
* Cappellini, cappelletti
* Farfalle, festoni, fettuccine, filatieddi, fusilli
* Gnocchi di semolino
* Lasagne, linguine, lumache (snails)
* Maccheroni (macaroni), malloreddus (Sardinian pasta), maltagliate, marille, Marrubini
* Offelle, orecchiette
* Paccheri, paglia e fieno, pansotti, panzarotti, pappardelle, penne, perciatelli, pici, pinzillacchere, pizzoccheri,
* Ravioli, rigatoni
* Spaghetti, spaghetti alla chitarra, strozzapreti, strangozzi, strascinati
* Tacconi, tagliatelle, tagliarini, tonnarelli, tortellini, trenette, trottole, trofie
* Ciceri e Tria
* Bucatini all'amatriciana, Bucatini coi funghi, Bucatini alla Sorrentina
* Cannelloni al ragu, cannelloni ai carciofi
* Penne all'arrabbiata, pansotti alla genovese
* Rigatoni alla Pajata, Rigatoni al forno con salsa aurora
* Spaghetti alla Carrettiera, Spaghetti al nero di seppia, Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, Spaghetti con la bottarga, Spaghetti all' aglio, olio e peperoncino, spaghetti indiavolati, Spaghetti Siracusani, spaghetti alla carbonara
* Tagliatelle alla boscaiola, tagliatelle ai carciofi, tagliatelle ai funghi, tagliatelle al pomodoro, tagliatelle al sugo di lepre, tagliatelle al rag?
* Tortelloni alla zucca
* Trofie al pesto, trofie al sugo di noci
* Tortelloni ricotta and spinaci
Rice (Riso) dishes are very common in North Italy, especially in the Lombardia and Veneto regions.
* Basic Risotto
* Risotto alla milanese or Risotto with saffron
* Risi e bisi
* Risotto con la l?ganega
* Riso with schrimpfs
* Riso con piselli (risi e bisi)
* Riso alla toscana
* Riso al nero di seppia
* Riso con i porcini
* Risotto alla sbirraglia
* Risotto alla zucca
* Risotto di seppie alla veneziana
* Sformato al basilico
* Sformato di riso dolce
* Tiella di riso, patate e cozze
* Risotto ai gamberoni
* Risotto ai quattro sapori
* Risotto al cavolfiore
* Risotto al gorgonzola
* Riso tonnato
* Riso valdostano
* Risotto saltato
* Risotto al Barolo
* Risotto con scamorza e champagne
* Risotto indivia e fiori di zucca
* Risotto allo zafferano con petto d'anatra
* Risotto alla marinara
* Risotto con agoni
* Risotto mantecato con Grana Padano
* Alici, Sardine, Anguilla marinate
* Seppioline in umido
* Missultin e polenta
* Fritata di bianchetti
* Fritto misto di pesce
* Orate al forno
* Acciughe fritte in pastella
* Acciughe in carpione
* Acquadella o latterino fritto
* Acqua pazza
* Agghiotta di pesce spada
* Anguilla marinata
* Baccala alla vicentina
* Baccala fritto
* Branzino al sale
* Brodetto di arselle
* Calamaretti fritti
* Calamari in zimino
* Calamari ripieni
* Capesante alla veneziana
* Cappon magro
* Carpaccio di pesce
* Cartoccio di pesce spada
* Cozze alla tarantina
* Cozze fritte alla viareggina
* Cozze ripiene
* Filetti di baccala
* Filetti di orata al cartoccio
* Frittura mista di pesce
* Grancevola alla veneziana
* Impanata di pesce spada
* Involtini di pesce
* Moscardini lessati alla genovese
* Murena fritta
* Nasello al forno
* Orata arrosto
* Pepata di cozze
* Pesce a scabecciu
* Pesce al cartoccio
* Pesce alla pizzaiola
* Pesce spada alla siciliana
* Pesce Spada arrosto in salmoriglio
* Polpettine di mare
* Sarde a beccafico
* Sarde arraganate (sarde con origano e pane)
* Sarde grigliate
* Sarde ripiene
* Sarde sfiziose panate
* Sardele in saor
* Sbroscia bolsenese
* Scampi a zuppetta
* Scampi gratinati
* Seppie col nero alla veneziana
* Seppie con i piselli
* Seppie ripiene
* Sogliole alla mugnaia
* Spiedini ai frutti di mare
* Spiedini di alici
* Spiedini di anguilla
* Stoccafisso alla genovese
* Stoccafisso alla ligure
* Tonno sott'olio
* Tortiera di cozze
* Totano imbottito
* Triglie alla livornese
* Zuppa di pesce
Italian meat dishes and cured meats
* Coda alla vaccinara
* Cotoletta alla milanese
* Cotoletta alla petroniana (like a cordon bleu)
* Bistecca Fiorentina
* Guanciale (cured pork jowl)
* Osso buco
* Parma Ham
* Pezzetti di cavallo
* Prosciutto cotto
* Prosciutto crudo
* Violino Valtell
Further information: Lists of Italian DOCG, DOC, and IGT wines.
o Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
o Bolgheri, Carignano, Chianti, Colli Apuani, Colli Etruria Centrale, Colline Lucchesi, Elba, Scansano, Montalcino, Montescudaio, Nipozzano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Parrina, Pitigliano, San Gimignano, Val di Chiana, Val di Cornia, Valdinievole, Valle di Arbia
o Alba, Acqui, Asti, Barolo, Carema Riserva, Colli Tortonesi, Gattinara, Gavi, Langhe, Monferrato, Nebbiolo, Ovada
o Amarone, Bardolino, Colli Euganei, Valpolicella, Conegliano Veneto, Custoza, Soave, Valdobbiadene
o Cinque Terre
o Sangiovese, Lambrusco, Pignoletto, Gutturnio, Bonarda, Trebbiano, Albana
o Cagliari, Monti, Nuragus, Ogliastra
o Verdicchio, Conero, Piceno
o Franciacorta, Oltrep? Pavese, Sassella, Inferno, Grumello, Bonarda, Barbera, Spumante Brut, Valcalepio
o Etna, Noto, Passito di Pantelleria, Marsala, Nero d'Avola, Donna Fugata
o Orvieto, Torgiano, Rosso di Montefalco, Sagrantino, Grechetto
Further information: List of Italian cheeses, and the more select List of Italian PDO cheeses
* Bel Paese, Bitto, Bra, Burrini, Burrata, Butirro
* Caciocavallo, Cacioricotta, Canestrato pugliese, Casucc, Castelmagno, Caprini, Casiello, Casu modde, Ciccillo, Crescenza, Crotonese
* Fontina, Fiore Sardo, Formai de mut
* Giuncata, Grana Padano, Gorgonzola
* Marzolino, Marzotica, Mascarpone, Mozzarella, Montasio, Monte Veronese, Murazzano
* Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino di Fossa, Pecorino romano, Pecorino sardo, Piacentinu, Primo Sale, Provolone, Puzzone di Modena
* Ragusano, Raschera, Ricotta rifatta, Ricotta Salata, Robiola,
* Slattato, Stracchino, Squacquerone
* Taleggio, Toma, Tumazzu
Italian desserts and pastry
* Anisette (cookie)
* Biscuit Tortoni
* Cannolo siciliano
* Cassata siciliana
* Gelato (ice cream)
* Macedonia (fruit salad)
* Panna cotta
* Torta caprese
* Struffoli (tiny fritters glued together with honey and decorated with multi-colored sprinkles)
* Bicerin (coffee, hot chocolate and whipped cream, only in Turin)
* Caffe corretto
* Caffe macchiato
* Espresso (known generally in Italy simply as caff?)
* Grolla dell'amicizia (coffee and grappa served in a traditional bulbous wooden loving cup, shaped like a multi-spouted teapot, and drunk in the Aosta Valley and Piedmont)
* Marocchino (similar to a small cappuccino, invariably served in a glass, and drunk mainly in Milan and Casale Monferrato)
Famous Italian dishes
* Bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine beefsteak)
* Baccala alla Vicentina
* Pasta e fagioli (commonly known as "pasta fazool")
* Ragu alla bolognese (a meat-based sauce served with tagliatelle or other pasta; the Italian-style dish Spaghetti alla Bolognese derives from this)
* Fettuccine Alfredo (though invented in the United States)
* Limoncello liqueur
* Veal osso buco
* Pollo alla cacciatora
Feast of the seven fishes
Stuffed Calamari in Tomato Sauce ? Squid stuffed with breadcrumbs, garlic, oil/milk, and 3 eggs. The stuffed squid baked with a white sauce, chedder and olive oil.
Fried Smelt Smelt, bite-sized fish, deep-fried with a salt and pepper seasoning.
Deep Fried Breaded Oysters Oysters deep friend and breaded, typically rolled into a ball before frying.
Deep Fried Fish/Shrimp Fish/Shrimp dipped into batter and placed into deep fryer. Dish is typically served with lemon and/or cocktail sauce.
Linguine with Clam Sauce A mildly spicy dish that combines Linguine pasta served with tomato sauce and cooked clams.
Marinated Eel Bite-size cut eel deep fried and seasoned with salt and pepper marinated, after being fried, in a garlic, balsamic vinegar, and sugar sauce.
Baccal De-salted, by soaking water, cod cut into bite-sized portions, pan fried until brown; and served with tomato sauce and pasta.
Whiting Baked Whiting fish seasoned with salt, pepper, and drizzled olive oil. This dish can either be served with fish being whole or sliced into chunks.
Tiramisu Layered Italian dessert that incorporates layers of coffee/Kahlua soaked ladyfingers, marscapone/creme, and chocolate bar shavings.
Unique dishes by region
* Jota - stew of beans with bacon
* Brovada - turnips preserved in marc
* Frico - Cooked Montasio cheese. It can be done in different fashions, with or without potatoes, crunchy or soft.
* Pasta e fagioli - a dish of pasta and beans
* Polenta con gli osei - Polenta cooked with wild birds
* Risi e bisi - rice with young peas
* Sarde in saor - marinated sardines
* Gnocchi con la ricotta ? Potato dumplings with ricotta
* Pollo ripieno alla trentina Stuffed chicken in the style of Trento
* Canederli or Kndel dumplings made with leftover bread
* Crauti - Sauerkraut
* Tortelli di zucca ravioli with a pumpkin filling
* Risotto alla milanese A stirred rice dish made with Vialone or Carnaroli rice flavored with saffron
* Panettone a Milanese Christmas traditional bread made with a yeast dough along with candied citrus peel, raisins and candied fruits
* Mostarda di Cremona boiled fruits seasoned with mustard
* Pizzoccheri buckwheat tagliatelle dressed with potatoes, greens (often Swiss Chard), butter and Bitto cheese: a speciality of the Valtellina.
* Zuppa di Valpelline - savoy cabbage stew thickened with stale bread
* Tortino de riso alla valdostana - rice cake with ox tongue
* Lepre in Civet - jugged hare
* Pere San Martin al vino rosso - winter pears in red wine
* Panna cotta - sweetened cream set with gelatin
* Risotto alla piemontese - risotto cooked with meat broth and seasoned with nutmeg, parmesan and truffle
* Paniscia di Novara a dish based on rice with borlotti beans, salame and vegetables
* Bagna cauda - A hot dip based on anchovies, olive oil and garlic blanched in milk, to accompany vegetables (either raw or cooked), meat or fried polenta sticks
* Carne cruda all'albese - steak tartare with truffles
* Vitello tonnato - veal in tuna sauce
* Bollito misto
* Pizza all'Andrea Focaccia-style pizza topped with tomato slices (not sauce) onions and anchovies
* Scabeggio - fried fish marinated in wine, garlic, lemon juice and sage, typical of Moneglia
* Baccala fritto - morsels of salt cod dipped in flour batter and fried
* Torta pasqualina savory flan filled with a mixture of green vegetables, ricotta and parmigiano cheese, milk and marjoran; some eggs are then poured in the already-placed filling, so that their yolks will remain whole and firm when cooked
* Buridda seafood stew
* Mosciamme - originally a cut of dolphin meat dried and then made tender again thanks to immersion in olive oil, since several decades the dolphin meat has been substituted with tuna
* Mesccia - a soup of chickpeas, beans and wheat grains, typical of eastern Liguria and likely of Arab origin
* Cima alla genovese - this cold preparation features an outer layer of beef breast made into a pocket and stuffed with a mix of brain, lard, onion, carrot, peas, eggs and breadcrumbs, then sewn and boiled. It is then sliced and eaten as an entre or a sandwich filler
* Stecchi alla genovese - wooden skewers alternating morsels of leftover chicken meats (crests, testicles, livers...) and mushrooms, dipped in white bechamel sauce, left to dry a bit and then breaded and fried
* Pansoti - triangle-shaped stuffed pasta filled with a mix of borage (or spinach) and ricotta cheese, they can be eaten with butter, tomato sauce or a white sauce made with either walnuts or pine nuts (the latter two being the more traditional ligurian options)
* Bianchetti - Whitebait of anchovies and sardines, usually boiled and eaten with lemon juice, salt and olive oil as an entre
* Maccheroni con Trippa - A traditional savonese soup uniting maccheroni pasta, tripe, onion, tomato, sausage, thistle, parsley and white wine in a base of capon broth
* Condigiun - a salad made with tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, black olives, basil, garlic, anchovies, hard boiled egg, oregano, tuna.
* Sgabei - fritters made from bread dough (often incorporating some cornmeal in it)
* Testa in cassetta - a salami made from all kind of leftover meats from pork butchering (especially from the head)
* Galantina - similar to Testa in cassetta but with added veal meat
* Torta di riso - Unlike all other rice cakes this preparation is not sweet, but a salted cake made with rice, caill, parmigiano and eggs
* Panera genovese - a kind of semifreddo rich in cream and eggs flavoured with coffee, similar to a cappuccino in ice cream form
* Cappon Magro a preparation of fish, shellfishes and vegetables layered in an aspic
* Cobeletti sweet corn tarts
* Latte dolce fritto - a thick milk based cream left to solidify, then cut in rectangular pieces which are breaded and fried
* Pandolce sweet bread made with raisins, pine nuts and candied orange and cedar skins
* Panissa and Farinata chickpea-based polentas and pancakes respectively
* Farinata di zucca - a preparation similar to chickpea farinata substituting pumpkin for the legumes' flour as its main ingredient, the end result is slightly sweeter and thicker than the original
* Agliata - Pesto's direct ancestor, a spread made from garlic cloves, egg yolk and olive oil pestled in a mortar until creamy
* Trenette col pesto - Pasta with Pesto (Olive Oil, garlic, Basil, Parmigiano and Pecorino Sardo cheese) sauce
* Zampone - stuffed pig's trotter, fatter (from Modena)
* Cotechino - stuffed pig's trotter, leaner (from Modena)
* Cappello da prete - stuffed pig's trotter, very fatty (from Modena)
* Erbazzone, spinach and cheese filled pie form Reggio Emilia
* Fave stufate - beans with mortadella
* Torta Barozzi o Torta Nera - Barozzi tart of black tart (a dessert made with a coffee/cocoa and almond filling encased in a fine pastry dough (from Modena)
* Tortelli - Uusally square, made in all Emilia-Romagna, filled with Swiss Chard or Spinach,ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano in Romagna or Ricotta, Parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano in Bologna ( where they are called Tortelloni) and Emilia, or with potatoes and pancetta in the Appennine mountains
* Tortellini - small egg pasta navel shapes filled with pork, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mortadella, Parma Ham and nutmeg (from Bologna and Castelfranco Emilia)
* Cappelletti - small egg pasta "hats" filled with ricotta, parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano and nutmeg, sometimes also chicken breast or pork and lemon zest, from Romagna
* Cappellacci - large size filled egg pasta with chestnut puree and sweet Mostarda di Bologna, from Romagna.
* Lasagne - green or yellow egg pasta layered with Bolognese Sauce and bechamel
* Cannelloni, Crespelle and Rosette - pasta filled with bechamel, cream, ham and others
* Piadina Pancake shaped flat bread(from Romagna) which can be smaller and higher or larger and very thin
* Passatelli - noodles made of breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano, cheese, lemon zest and nutmeg from Romagna
* Tigelle - a small round flat bread from the Modena Appennine mountains
* Parmigiano-Reggiano - prized ancient long-aged cheese from Reggio Emilia,Parma. Modena and Bologna
* Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emiliaa'
* Pan Pepato - very rich Christmas dried fruit and nut dessert with almonds, candies and a lot of sweet spices
* Mortadella - cooked pork salame from Bologna
* Culatello - a cured ham made with the most tender of the pork rump.
* Salame Felino - salami from Parma province
* Coppa - cured pork neck form Piacenza and Parma
* Garganelli - typical Romagna quill shaped egg pasta usually dressed with Guanciale (cheek bacon), peas, Parmigiano Reggiano and a hint of cream.
* Gramigna con salsiccia - typical Bologna short curlt pasta with sausage ragu.
* Pisarei e Fas - peas and beans from Piacenza
* Torresani - rosted pigeons popular in Emilia
* Salamina da Sugo - soft salami from Ferrara, righted to season.
* Salami of San Secondo - salami from Parma made with pork shoulder.
* Coppa - cold pork from Piacenza
* Ciccioli - cold meat made with pig's feet and head from Modena
* Squaqquerone - Sweet, runny, milky cheese from Romagna
* Crescentine - flat bread from Bologna and Emilia
* Gnocco Fritto and Crescentine - fried pastry puffs from Emilia
* Piadina Fritta Fried Romagna pastry rectangles
* Tortelli alla Lastra- Griddle baked pasta rectangles filed with potato and pumpkin puree and sausage or bacon bits
* Tagliatelle all' uovo - pasta makde with egg from Bologna
* Pesto di Modena - cured pork back fat pounded with garlic, rosemary and Parmigiano-Reggiano used to fill tigelle, borlenghi and crescentine
* Pinzimonio - fresh seasonal raw or slightly blanched vegetables served with seasoned olive oil for dipping
* Ribollita - reheated vegetable soup
* Ossibuchi alla toscana - osso buco, sliced braised veal shank, "Tuscan-style"
* Bistecca alla fiorentina - grilled Florentine T-bone steak. In past it was also called bistecca alla florentina
* Crema paradiso - Tuscan creamed bacon
* Fegatelli di maiale - pig's liver forcemeat stuffed into pig's stomach and baked in a slow oven with stock and red wine
Tuscan bread specialties
* Carsenta lunigianese - baked on a bed of chestnut leaves and served on Good Friday
* Ciaccia - from the Maremma made from maize
* Donzelle - round loaf fried in olive oil
* Fiandolone - made with sweet chestnut flour and strewn with rosemary leaves
* Pan maoko - equal parts wheat and maize flour, with pine nuts and raisins added
* Panigaccio - Lunigiana specialty made with flour, water and salt baked over red-hot coals and served with cheese and olive oil
* Panina gialla aretina - an Easter bread with a high fat content, containing raisins, saffron, and spices. It is consecrated in a church before being served with eggs
* Panini di San Antonio - sweet rolls eaten on the feast day of St. Anthony
* Schiacciata - dough rolled out onto baking sheet and can have pork cracklings, herbs, potatoes and/or tomatoes added to the top along with a salt and olive oil
* Pan di granturco - made from maize flour
* Pane classico integrale - unsalted bread made with semolina with a crisp crust
* Schiacciatina - made with a fine flour, salt dough with yeast and olive oil
* Filone - classic Tuscan unsalted bread
* Pan di ramerino - a rosemary bread seasoned with sugar and salt. The bread was originally served during Holy Week decorated with a cross on top and sold at the Church by semellai; it is, however, offered year round now.
* Pane con i grassetti - a bread from the Garfagnana area, with pork cracklings mixed in
* Pane con l'uva - in other areas this bread often takes the form of small loaves or rolls, but in Tuscany it is a rolled-out dough with red grapes incorporated into it and sprinkled with sugar. It is bread served often in the autumn in place of dessert and often served with figs
* Lenticchie di Castelluccio con salsicce - lentil stew with sausages
* Minestra di farro - spelt soup
* Regina in porchetta - carp in fennel sauce
* Piccioni all spiedo - spit-roasted pigeon
Specialties of the Norcineria (Umbrian Butcher)
* Barbozzo - cured, matured pig's cheek
* Mazzafegati - sweet or hot pig's liver sausage, the sweet version containing raisins, orange peel and sugar
* Budellacci - smoked, spiced pig intestines eaten raw, spit-roasted, or broiled
* Capocollo - Sausage highly seasoned with garlic and pepper
* Coppa - sausage made from the pig's head
* Prosciutto di Norcia - a pressed, cured ham made from the legs of pigs fed on a strict diet of acorns
* Brodetto di San Benedetto del Tronto - fish stew, San Benedetto del Tronto-style
* Passatelli all'urbinate - spinach and meat dumplings
* Olive all'ascolana - fried olives stuffed with pork, beef, chicken livers, tomato paste and Parmesan cheese in Ascoli Piceno.
Unique ham and sausage specialties
* Ciauscolo - made from the belly and shoulder of pig with half its weight in pork fat and seasoned with salt, pepper, orange peel and fennel. It is stuffed into an intestine casing, dried in a smoking chamber and cured for three weeks.
* Coppa - coppa in this region refers to a boiling sausage made from pig's head, bacon, orange peel, nutmeg and sometimes pinenuts or almonds. It is meant to be eaten within a month of preparation
* Salame lardellato - made with lean pork shoulder, or leg meat, along with diced bacon, salt, pepper, and whole peppercorns. It is cased in hog's intestines, dried for one-and-a-half days and then placed in a warm room for 3-4 days, two days in a cold room and then two months in a ventilated storage room
* Prosciutto de Montefeltro - made from free-range black pigs, this is a smoked Prosciutto washed with vinegar and ground black pepper
* Salame de Montefeltro - made from the leg and loin meat of the black pig, this sausage is highly seasoned with peppercorns and hung to dry
* Salame de Fabriano - similar to salame lardellato except that it is made solely from leg of pork with pepper and salt
* Fegatino - a liver sausage with pork belly and shoulder, where the liver replaces the fat of other sausages
* Soppressata de Fabriano - finely emulsified pork flavored with bacon, salt and pepper, the sausage is smoked and then aged
* Mazzafegato da Fabriano - mortadella made from fat and lean pork with liver and lung added to the fine-grained emulsification. It is seasoned with salt and pepper, stuffed into casings and smoked. This sausage is often served at festivals.
* Saltimbocca alla Romana - Veal cutlet, Roman-style; topped with raw ham and sage and simmered with white wine and butter
* Coda di bue alla vaccinara - oxtail ragout
* Carciofi alla giudia - artichokes fried in olive oil, typical of Roman Jewish cooking
* Carciofi alla romana - artichokes Roman-style; outer leaves removed, stuffed with mint, garlic, breadcrumbs and braised
* Spaghetti alla carbonara - spaghetti with bacon, eggs and pecorino
* Bucatini all'amatriciana - bucatini with guanciale, tomatoes and pecorino
* Gnocchi di semolino alla romana - semolina dumpling, Roman-style
Abruzzo and Molise
* Agnello con le olive -
* Maccheroni alla chitarra - a narrow stripped pasta served with a sauce of tomatoes, bacon and Pecorino cheese
* Sugo di castrato - mutton sauce made with onion, rosemary, bacon, white wine, and tomatoes
* Mozzarelline allo zafferano - mini mozzarella cheese coated with a batter flavored with saffron
* Agnello casc' e ove - Lamb stuffed with grated pecorino cheese and eggs
* Arrosticini -
* Spaghetti all' aglio, olio e pepperoncino
Pizza alla Napoletana
* Maccheroni alla napoletana - macaroni with Neapolitan sauce; a sauce of braised beef, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, white wine, tomato paste and fresh basil.
* Pizza napoletana - Neapolitan pizza; pizza topped with anchovies, mozzarella, basil and olive oil
* Mozzarella in carrozza - fried mozzarella sandwiches
* Insalata caprese - salad of tomatoes, Mozzarella di Bufala (buffalo mozzarella) and basil
* Pastiera napoletana - Neapolitan ricotta cake
* Orecchiette alle cime di rapa - Ear-like pasta with broccoli
* Pancotto - is an ancient dish of Capitanata, poor but tasty, aa basis of stale bread and a wide variety of wild vegetables, accompanied by fennel seeds, oil of Tavoliere and chilli peppers.
* Tiella di verdure - casserole of baked vegetable topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil
* Riso, patate e cozze - this specialty of Bari based on rice can be compared to the paella, but the manner of dress differs barese Whereas traditional ingredients working in the area of Bari
* Purea di fave - broad bean puree
* Zuppa di cozze alla Tarantina - mussels steamed with peperoncino, garlic, tomatoes, white wine and garlic
* Ostriche arrosto - oysters broiled with parsley, garlic, oregano, breadcrumbs, olive oil and lemon juice
* Muscisca - the bacon or boneless meat from sheep or goat (and in some cases young calf) is cut into long strips (20-30 cm) and thin (3-4 cm) and seasoned with salt, chilli and fennel seeds before to be put to dry in the sun, enough to get the drying
* Torcinelli - involtini of offal linked with guts scented with parsley and cooked on the grill
* Cartellate - a thin strip of puff pastry, made with flour, oil and white wine, together and wrapped on itself to form a sort of "pink" choreographed with cavities and openings, which is then fried in abundant oil. The typical recipe is one that sees impregnated "vincotto" lukewarm or honey.
* Cacioricotta cheese - the cacioricotta is a cheese produced in product throughout the Apulia.
* Burrata cheese - the burrata is a fresh cheese with spun dough, similar to mozzarella but by much softer consistency and filamentous, produced in Murgia Andria in particular to its place of invention and in various areas of Puglia. The burrata is worked by hand with a filling of cream and pieces of dough spun, and the stuffing is called stracciatella, because the pieces of dough are torn by hand, and is contained in an envelope ("bag") is also formed by paste spun.
* Caciocavallo podolico - Is particular variety of cheese products made exclusively with milk from cows Podolico
Apulia bread specialties
* Pane di Altamura - sourdough durum wheat bread weighing up to 44 lb (20 kg) in Puglia
* Pane casereccio - made from duram wheat, yeast, flour, salt and water, this loaf is a tradition of the region
* Puccia di pane - small, soft, round loaf made of white flour to remind the people of the Virgin Mary
* Puddica - bread dough mixed with mashed potato and rolled into flat cakes, covered with halved tomatoes and seasoned with salt and pepper
* Focaccia ripiena - bread dough filled with mozzarella, tomatoes, ham, onion or leek and served in slices
* Taralli - wheat flour, lard, olive oil, brewer's yeast, fennel seeds, red pepper and salt, baked into rings
* Friselle - made from barley flour, duram wheat flour and go through a dual baking process, first in a hot oven and finished in a moderate oven
* Pollo alla potentina - Potenza-style chicken; Chicken braised with tomatoes, onion, white wine, peperoncino, topped with fresh basil, parsley and pecorino cheese
* Agnello alla pastora - Lamb with potatoes
* Orecchiette con la salsiccia piccante - Ear-like pasta with typical spicy salami from Basilicata
* Pecorino di Forenza - Typical Forenza's sheep cheese
* Salsiccia Lucana - Refined spicy salami called also Luganega
* Scarteddate - typical Christmas biscuits
* Sanguinaccio - homemade jam with chocolate and pig blood
* Melanzane alla menta - Eggplant marinated with mint
* Pitta coi pomodori - pita bread with tomatoes
* Pesce spada alla ghiotta - swordfish rolls in tomato sauce
* Tonno alla palermitana - tuna Palermo-style; tuna marinated in white wine, lemon, garlic, rosemary and broiled, then served with pan-seared sardines
* Il timballo del gattopardo - Sicilian pie; pastry dough baked with a filling of penne rigata, Parmesan, and bound a sauce of ham, chicken, liver, onion, carrot, truffles, diced hard-boiled egg and seasoned with clove, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Gattopardo (the Serval) makes reference to the arms of the Lampedusa family and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa?s well-known novel Il Gattopardo. (The dish does not contain catmeat.)
* Caponata - eggplants with tomatoes and olives
* Maccu di San Giuseppe - bean paste with fennel
* Panelle - a Sicilian chickpea fritter, often eaten as a sandwich and popular as street food
* Porcetto - Small pig cooked with myrtle
* Malloreddus - semolina gnocchi with saffron
* Sa fregula - couscous
* Culurgiones - A kind of ravioli
Italian cuisine ingredients
Most important ingredients (see also Italian Herbs and Spices):
* Olio Extravergine (olive oil)
* Pomodoro (Tomato)
* Parmigiano Reggiano (aged cow's-milk cheese), in the North
* Pecorino (aged sheep's-milk cheese), in the Middle and South
Other common ingredients:
* Acciughe (Anchovies, preserved in olive oil, or in salt)
* Asparagi (Asparagus)
* Baccal (Dried, salted cod)
* Bresaola (air-dried salted beef)
* Capperi (Capers, preserved in vinegar or, more frequently, salt)
* Carciofi (Artichokes)
* Cavolfiore (Cauliflower)
* Ceci (Chickpeas)
* Cetrioli (Cucumber)
* Fagioli (Beans)
* Farro (Emmer)
* Funghi (Mushrooms)
* Lenticchie (Lentils)
* Melanzane (eggplants)
* Olive (Olives)
* Peperoni (Bell peppers)
* Piselli (Peas)
* Funghi porcini (Porcini mushrooms)
* Radicchio Rosso di Treviso
* Rucola (or Rughetta) (Rocket or Arugula)
* Seppie (Cuttlefish)
* Spinaci (Spinach)
* Fragole (Strawberries)
* Tartufo (Truffle)
* Trippa (Tripe)
* Tonno (Tuna)
* Zucchine (Zucchini)
Italian herbs and spices
* Aglio (Garlic)
* Alloro (Bay leaves)
* Basilico (Basil)
* Cipolla (Onion)
* Finocchio (Fennel)
* Menta (Mint)
* Mentuccia (Lemon balm)
* Origano (Oregano)
* Peperoncino (Chile pepper)
* Prezzemolo (Parsley)
* Rosmarino (Rosemary)
* Salvia (Sage)
* Timo (Thyme)
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Italian_dishes"
Categories: Italian cuisine
For the original text see (English) Wikipedia, "Italian Food."