There is no better way to experience the wonders of Italy than through its cuisine. Dishes made in Italy reflect the wide variety of ingredients and cultures that span this diverse country, from the red sauces of the south to the more cheese- based recipes of the north.
Each region of Italy has developed distinctive meals which have become popular the world over, such as the pizzas of Naples and the risottos of Milan.
Whether you are planning a cooking-focused tour of the country or you merely wish to recreate Italy’s delicious foods at home, here are 6 dishes that you need to try.
Often served as a special family meal, this concoction of pasta, sauce, and cheese can be mixed with vegetables like spinach or meat like ground beef and sausage.
Lasagna takes time to prepare from scratch (although pre-cooked lasagna noodles are available in stores), but it is a popular dish for holidays and family occasions.
2. Fettucini Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the most famous dishes made in Italy; its deceptively simple recipe consists of wide noodles tossed with tossed with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cream and butter.
Traditionally found in more northern regions of the country where Italy borders Switzerland, this offering will satisfy the pickiest eater at your table.
3. Chicken Cacciatori
Not all dishes made in Italy include pasta. This hearty chicken stew is made with red wine, olives, and anchovies, and can serve a crowd.
If you are on a small group tour of Florence or Rome, you and your companions can have a great time sharing this dish at an outdoor cafe with a few bottles of Chianti.
You don’t need to speak Italian to know how to appreciate this kind of flavor.
4. Sicilian Meatballs
Served with or without spaghetti, meatballs made in the Sicilian style are another worldwide favorite. Mario Batali’s version includes sweet sausage, pine nuts, and currants.
However, each region of Italy offers variations on this time-honored treat.
5. Zuppa de Pesci
Italy’s many fishing villages, in addition to the glorious city of Venice, are famous for their individual variations on this delicious seafood recipe. Mussels or other shellfish are cooked with white wine, garlic, and saffron.
This tasty combo can be served over pasta, of course, or just ladled over a piece of crusty Italian bread. Delizioso!
6. Veal Scallopini Marsala
Scallopini refers to a very fine thin cut of meat (a “scallop”) which is cooked briefly at high temperatures in sauce for maximum tenderness.
Veal can be served on the bone (“osso bucco”), but the scallopini style of cut enhances the taste of any sauce, from piccata (which is lemon based) to Marsala.
The latter is named from the sweet wine made in Sicily, which is combined with mushrooms, rosemary, and garlic for a pungent yet delicate flavor.
Dishes Made in Italy: No Better Way to Experience the Country
Six recipes are not nearly enough to convey the variety of gastronomic delights that Italy can offer. No matter if you are traveling and trying these dishes in their native locales or if you are whipping them up in the comfort of your own home, exploring this cuisine is the best way to experience the true Italy.
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