Italian cuisine is not exotic; we know a lot about it. Eating well means trying the typical dishes of the region you are in, preferably in accordance with the season, and not in tourist places, but in trattorias where the locals themselves like to eat. It is through the kitchen that you can better understand and get to know Italians.
It would seem that there is nothing to talk about, but about pizza, which has become an integral part of fast food in any country, it is difficult to tell something new. I don’t even want to mention fast food in vain, but real “correct” Italian pizza is baked in accordance with strict rules and always in a wood-burning oven.
Neapolitan is more airy, the dough is elastic, similar to a flatbread. And the Roman one is crispy until burnt, thin and flat.
When you eat Neapolitan pizza, fold it like an envelope to prevent the toppings from leaking out. Try the fillings: prosciutto with arugula, truffles with buffalo mozzarella, eggplant and cheese.
Learn recipes for making classic Italian pizza in its homeland – Italy! Under the guidance of the chef, you will prepare the dough yourself, choose the ingredients and put your pizza in the oven, and then eat what you get!
TV presenter Vladimir Panzer, in his documentary series “Their Italy,” interviewed many famous Italians, and always asked each of them what Italian dish they could recommend to a foreigner if they had the opportunity to try only one thing. Another type common in Rome is carbonara pasta (Spaghetti alla Carbonara) with a sauce of cream, eggs, small cubes of bacon and Pecorino Romano cheese.
However, despite this, they have their predecessors in Italy. For example, you can try spaghetti with tiny meatballs in Puglia.
Americans also like to generously cover pasta with tomato sauce. But Italians never do this; they add sauce in small quantities, preferring only to highlight the taste of the dish.
As with pizza, Naples is considered the birthplace of lasagna. However, the most famous lasagna recipe comes from the Emilia-Romagna region, where its preparation is elevated to the level of an art. If you are in Bologna, be sure to order Lasagnas al forno (“lasagna in the oven”) with rags filling, white béchamel sauce (in Italian it sounds like this because the Italians believe that the court chef of Louis XIV brought this recipe from Italy) , mozzarella cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano (or a combination of both).
Note that a traditional Italian stew uses a little tomato sauce. This makes the taste of meat brighter and more pronounced.
Risotto (“little rice” literally translated) is round rice cooked in broth until creamy. A relative newcomer among Italian cuisine, known only since the 19th century.
If southern Italy is almost always a “pasta bowl”, then Northern Italy, especially Lombardy and Piedmont, can be called a “rice bowl”. Arborio and Carniola are varieties grown in the rice fields of these regions and are used to prepare traditional risotto.
This dish, according to legend, was invented by one of the workers of the Milan Duomo. He was using saffron to color stained glass windows and accidentally dropped it into his bowl of rice.
Other classic versions of risotto you can try in Venice: risotto with cuttlefish ink (risotto al nero di sepia) and risotto with bacon and peas (risi e bisi).
Ah, truffles!.. Sounds luxurious for some kind of mushroom! But this mushroom, unattractive in appearance, is not “some kind”, but one of the most expensive and delicious in taste, a real delicacy.
There are two main types. A rarer (and much more expensive) white truffle, with a dense and rich aroma. And black truffle, not as fragrant, but more widespread and accessible. Where to try truffles? They grow in Umbria, Tuscany and Piedmont, so you will find the best and freshest truffles here.
It is worth traveling to one of these regions during the “truffle season”, that is, in the fall, when numerous truffle festivals are held (for example, the white truffle festival in Alba, Piedmont in October).
White truffle is an exclusive product that goes well with foie gras or pheasant meat. If you are not ready to shell out a large sum for an ordinary lunch, but want to enjoy the taste of an unusual mushroom, then we suggest starting with pasta covered with thin shavings of black truffle. Truffle shavings are also used in sauces and added to risotto, poultry and fish dishes.
Bistecca alla Fiorentina, or Florentine steak, is a legendary dish not only in Florence, but throughout Tuscany. A proper Florentine steak should weigh between 1.2 and 2 kg and be 4-5 cm thick!
It is prepared only from Chianina beef. It is believed that this word denoted a breed of bulls known to the Etruscans and ancient Romans. The Chianina breed produces very flavorful meat, soft and not dry, and Tuscans believe that it is naturally salty!
Before preparing a steak, a raw piece of beef is brought out to demonstrate to the client. And then they are fried to about 0.5 cm of the total 5 cm on each side, that is, the meat with such frying becomes covered with a crust on the outside, but the inside remains soft and tender and has a red-pink tint.
Don’t even ask the waiter for the well-done degree of roasting – the meat is too thick for that! In addition, you will offend the cook – the pros call this kind of frying “sole” and believe that it only spoils a precious piece of a good steak.