Italy, as you know, is the most “delicious” country. The food here has its own history and is loved by many. Traditional Italian dishes are on the menu of most European restaurants, and Italian products are on the shelves of kitchens around the world. Among the gastronomic abundance, finding the best Italian dish is as impossible as identifying the most beautiful city in Italy.
But travel time is limited, as is the number of breakfasts and dinners, so we decided to collect the TOP 20 national dishes that you must try in Italy.
Pizza is served almost everywhere in Naples, but there are huge queues at top establishments. Especially in Lanita Pizzeria da Michele, which became famous thanks to the book and film “Eat, Pray, Love”. In Naples, the classic pizza is Margherita. It is prepared in the hall, in special ovens.
In general, the service in local establishments is democratic, but everything is redeemed by the taste of hot Neapolitan pizza.
2. And again Pizza
Meet pizza al Taglio from Rome. It is baked rectangular on thin dough in cafes, grocery stores and street food outlets. al Taglio has a variety of fillings, including vegetables, spinach, fish and seafood.
Al Taglio is prepared in advance and only sliced before serving. The most delicious, of course, is pizza fresh from the oven. Therefore, come for al Taglio in the morning, when all the pizza is hot, or ask the seller for the freshest one.
We know this dish as lasagna bolognese, but in Italy they more often say Lasagne al Forno, that is, lasagne from the oven.
This is a multi-layer dish made from thin sheets of dough, richly soaked in sauce, with filling between them. Lasagna is prepared almost everywhere. In Bologna, spinach is added to the dough, and minced meat with tomato sauce is used as a filling.
This recipe is popular throughout northern Italy. Essentially, polenta is a porridge made from corn flour, served with meat, creamy, creamy mushroom sauce, or with grated Parmesan.
It is not uncommon to find polenta with fried peppers, onions and sausage, or simply Gorgonzola cheese. Sometimes porridge is eaten as a hot dish immediately after cooking, and sometimes it is cooled, then cut and fried in oil.
Although tortellini officially refers to pasta, we are more accustomed to compare them with elegant dumplings made from thin dough. Tortellini is filled with minced meat or ricotta with herbs. Sometimes they can be added to light vegetable soup.
The tortellini have older brothers, tortellini and tortellacci. The first ones are slightly larger, the same in shape and filled with ricotta and spinach. Tortellacci, the largest, are prepared with a complex filling of cheese, a mixture of prosciutto and meat.
In general, first courses in Italian cuisine are presented modestly, but among them there is something to pay attention to. Ribolitta is the Tuscan version of peasant soup with legumes.
It is usually prepared from seasonal vegetables, cannellini beans in meat broth, generously seasoned with spices.
A specialty of the Lombardy region is braised veal shank. It is imperative that the meat be served with a “hollow bone” (osso buco), that is, a bone in which the bone marrow remains. The most famous dish is served Milanese style, when the stew is accompanied by saffron risotto.
This is salted, dried caviar of tuna, gray mullet or, less commonly, swordfish. Hard dried caviar is cut into thin slices into the finished dish according to the truffle principle, be it bruschetta, salad or risotto.
Bottargo is most often prepared in Sardinia and Sicily, but is used throughout southern Italy and parts of Tuscany. Bottarga has an intense aroma, especially in the case of tuna caviar, and also has a bitter aftertaste.
The name of this dish serves as its best advertisement, as it translates as “jump into your mouth” (salt’ im bocca).
A roll is formed from the ingredients, pierced with a toothpick and fried in a frying pan until the meat is cooked. In addition to veal, chicken and lamb are used to prepare saltimbocca.
10. Zucchini flowers
The delicate orange flowers of zucchini are prepared in many regions. They are usually filled with cheese and fried in batter or breading. Flowers can also be served with soft cream cheese inside with herbs and leaves as a salad.
11. Kulurgins (giant ravioli)
Сulurgiones are shaped like thin dough pies, but are essentially ravioli and are prepared in the same way. Culurgiones are stuffed with cheese and herb mashed potatoes and served on a bed of tomato, Parmesan and fresh mint. One serving includes 5-6 pieces of ravioli.
12. Tomato fish soup brodetto di pesce
In general, brodetto di pesce bears little resemblance to soup in the classical sense. Rather, it is a tomato-based seafood sauté, with clams, mussels and crustaceans like scampi and carabinieri thrown into the cauldron right in their shells.
The dish was originally fishermen’s food, but is now served in restaurants, trattorias and as street food, where the bubbling soup is prepared right on the street. Similar recipes are found in other Mediterranean countries.
13. Salted cod (Baccala arracanto)
A cod dish common on the Adriatic coast. Prepared from salted, dried or dried fish. According to the recipe, cod is simmered or baked with breadcrumbs, nuts, raisins, olives and tomatoes and usually served with potatoes or baked vegetables.