food in itlay

10 dishes every Italian food fan should try

The phrase “I love pizza” can be used as a strong argument when you are asked at passport control about the purpose of your trip to Italy. But there are enough delicious dishes in this country for dozens of trips.
The  icon indicates the city where the dish was invented, but you can try it not only there.

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Bolognese managed to become more popular than Bologna: spaghetti with this tomato and meat sauce appears on the menus of cafes and restaurants far beyond Italy. But in the culinary capital itself, Bolognese is called “ragu” and is eaten not with spaghetti, but with tagliatelle egg paste, which was invented here. They say this is because its flat shape and rough texture hold the sauce better – although you can come up with a different combination.

Spaghetti Carbonara

It may seem that you don’t need to try carbonara in Rome: they can cook it in your city too. It’s just that outside the “boot”, cream is often added to the sauce, although in fact the delicate silky taste comes from the combination of eggs and cheese. In addition, in Rome you will get traditional pork cheeks on your plate, not pieces of ham or bacon. According to one version, it is worth thanking the coal miners who worked in the Apennine Mountains for the recipe – the carbonado profession gave the name to the sauce.


Until now, we haven’t found out exactly where lasagna was first prepared: in noisy Naples or in scientific Bologna. Each city had its own set of ingredients, but they were united by the main thing – thin sheets of pasta, laid out in layers. The recipe with ricotta and meatballs from Campania is considered more ancient, and the dish with Parmesan and Bolognese sauce is more popular. This provides an excellent excuse to travel to both regions and decide what suits your tastes.

Tortellini in broth

Tortellini pasta resembles dumplings, only more elegant: according to legend, the cook took the navel of the goddess Venus, which he saw through the keyhole, as a model for its shape. In Emilia-Romagna they are traditionally served in broth – prepare for the fact that it may not even come to tiramisu.  Try green dumplings with spinach or red ones with tomato, combine different sauces and don’t forget about tortellini – large tortellini.


You might think that Parmigiana was invented in Parma, just like Parmesan was – just don’t tell the Southerners about that. While in Naples they are looking through ancient treatises in search of facts, in Sicily they believe that eggplant slices stacked on top of each other resemble Persian windows called parmiciana.

The theory is confirmed by the fact that in Sicily the dish is called “parmigiana di melanzane” (“eggplant parmigiana”), and in Emilia-Romagna it is called “melanzane alla parmigiana” (“parma-style eggplant”). Wherever you decide to try this dish, this layered casserole of eggplant, cheese and tomato sauce promises to be equally delicious.

Florentine steak (steak)

It would seem that steaks are prepared the same way in every country in the world and there is nothing to surprise here. But in Italy they take the issue seriously: for Florentine steak they use only the meat of young bulls that graze in the Chianti Valley. Grapes for red wine for the dish are also grown there. The steak is not marinated, and there are almost no marbled veins of fat in it, but the meat still turns out very tender. However, it is not suitable for everyone: it is always cooked with blood, and the serving size can reach up to 1.5 kilograms.


Italians are so crazy about coffee that even their iconic dessert couldn’t do without espresso. Even the playful name tiramisu, which is translated as “cheer me up,” hints at the slight coffee bitterness. Unlike other legendary Italian dishes, this delicacy appeared only in the 70s of the 20th century – so everyone remembers well who and where prepared it for the first time. You can still visit the Le Becher restaurant to forever remember the standard taste.


It seems that the owner of the Venetian “Bar Harry” loved art, since he named two of his inventions after Italian artists. Slicing raw beef with mayonnaise sauce reminded Giuseppe Cipriani of the red and white shades in the paintings of Vittore Carpaccio, and the mix of sparkling wine and peach puree reminded him of the pastel colors in the works of Gentile Bellini. You can still try both at Harry’s Bar, where both Hemingway and Woody Allen sat at tables.


From time to time, the dank winter even reaches sunny Italy – then thick and satisfying rubellite is put on the table. Tuscan peasants prepared this soup from beans, dried bread, local black cabbage and leftover vegetables from yesterday, so there is still no single recipe. One thing is certain: no matter what’s on your plate, you won’t go hungry anytime soon.

Neapolitan pizza

“Friends”, “Home Alone”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Eat Pray Love” – pizza has appeared on screen so many times that it has become the most famous Italian word in the world. The Neapolitan Margherita with mozzarella and tomato sauce is a classic, but there are many more varieties of pizza both in Italy and abroad. Roman pizza is thin and crispy, Sicilian pizza is thick and square, calzone is semicircular and closed.

On the streets of Italy you can even find huge New York pizza. It is inspired by Neapolitan, but is much more free with traditions and allows either corn or barbecue chicken as a filling. However, UNESCO declared only pizza Napolitano as an intangible heritage of humanity – it’s worth starting with that.

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