Classic Italian Dishes Deserving a Spot on Your Bucket List
In addition to its amazing history, Italy also is home to a variety of delicious foods that are loved around the world. You can experience these seven Italian classics at an upscale Italian restaurant like Bricco or even try making them at home.
- Risotto is classic comfort food, especially popular in the Lombardy region of Italy. It is made with arborio rice toasted in butter. Risotto gets its classic richness by adding onion, stock and wine to the dish and stirring the rice as it cooks slowly. It is often flavored with saffron and cheese, but other popular flavors include sausage, mushrooms and seafood.
- Pizza Everyone thinks they have tried real pizza, but you probably haven’t until you’ve tried Pizza Napoletana. This version is crafted with a crispy yet chewy crust and simple toppings, such as tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. It’s also known as Margherita pizza. The pizza is wood-fired and sprinkled sparsely with toppings, allowing the freshness of each ingredient to shine through. If you’re lucky enough to try this classic in Italy, be sure to enjoy it on an outdoor terrace for the full, authentic experience.
- Cannoli is a dessert made with crispy dough that is formed into a tube and filled with sweet ricotta cheese or other flavorings. The outside may be dusted with sugar or covered in chocolate, nut or fruits. They are available all over Italy, but many consider the cannoli of Sicily to be particularly beautiful, especially in shops where the pastry is filled with filling as you wait.
- Seadas These pastries are both sweet and salty and are a staple of Sardinia. They are a big tube of pasty filled with lemony cheese and then deep-fried and covered in honey. The traditional cheese used in the pastry is pecorino, a sheep’s milk cheese, which is soft and melted in the pastry. You may find these delicious pastries are served as either an appetizer at the start of a meal or as a dessert in Sardinia.
- Bigoli In the Veneto area of Italy, this pasta is served with a sauce of duck, vegetables and wine. Bigoli is a cross between macaroni and spaghetti. It is a long noodle, but it’s hollow in the center. It is usually made from duck eggs and buckwheat flour.
- Pesto Genovese Authentic pesto from Genoa includes high-quality olive oil and small, tender leaves of basil combined with pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, salt and pecorino sheep cheese. Traditionally, this pesto is ground by hand, and it is made fresh daily rather than allowed to sit in a jar. It addition to being a topping for pasta, it can also be used on green beans and potatoes.
- Parmigiano Reggiano Authentic parmesan must come from approved regions in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna in Italy, so many people who happily eat this cheese may not be eating the real thing. Authentic parmesan cheese must be aged for at least one year and be made from cow’s milk. Look for labels that say Parmigiano Reggiano DOP from Lombardy and Emilia Romagna.