If you don’t know what to cook for dinner tonight, there’s nothing like classic Italian cuisine to satisfy your cravings. Whether it’s cooked in the traditional style or given a modern twist. So join our trip to discover top 5 must-try dishes from the Italian cuisine.
One of the most popular dishes in Italy is bruschetta; grilled bread that is toasted and rubbed with garlic, and topped with tomatoes (usually chopped and seasoned). Just add a charming drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve it as an appetizer. It’s a must when serving good grilled meat. It’s a simple yet classic dish that can be easy to make at home. Bruschetta also goes great with other Italian dishes like pasta, salads, or risotto.
Bruschetta originated in Tuscany and Lazio during the 15th century, However, it can be traced back to Ancient Rome; olive gardeners used to bring their olives to a local olive press and taste a sample of their freshly pressed oil using a slice of bread.
2-Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
It’s time for your taste buds to go wild with this world-famous Italian main course blossoming from Rome. It’s spaghetti: long thin strands of pasta, with cured pork and a creamy sauce made from eggs, shredded hard cheese usually Pecorino-Romano or Parmigano-Reggiano, and black pepper. A super simple and quick dinner yet an absolute delicacy.
“La Stampa” is the first Italian newspaper that authenticated the name “Carbonara” in 1950 as a dish inspired by the American troops after the Allied liberation of Rome in 1944. The American soldiers in WW2 brought the beloved combination of ‘bacon & eggs’ from their homeland and thus inspired the Italians to work their magic and came up with the delightful dish of spaghetti carbonara.
Pizzas started in the city of Naples in the 16th century when the Neapolitans were very poor and so this flatbread with toppings -later known as Pizza- that was sold by street vendors and could be eaten for any meal met the needs of the people as a quick, cheap and savory meal.
In 1889, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples, Queen Margherita was bored of the royal gourmet food. So she summoned Raffaele Esposito, who was the most famous pizza maker in Naples at that time, and asked him to make three different pizzas. The first two pizzas were not to the Queen’s taste. These included pizza marinara: the famous garlic pizza, and pizza Napoli: the anchovy pizza. The third pizza was inspired by the colors of the Italian flag and had the Queen’s approval. Esposito honored the event by naming the pizza after Queen Margherita.
So next time you are choosing a Margherita pizza, just know that you will be eating history.
4-Lasagne Alla Bolognese
This gooey savory delight goes back to the middle ages when ancient Rome was known to have the “lasanum” dish which is Latin for container or pot.
The first reference to modern-day lasagne was found in a 14th-century English cookbook; the dish with layers of pasta without the tomatoes. Another mention of lasagne was in an Italian cookbook in the 1880s, but this time it featured tomato sauce.
Lasagne’s history has varied throughout the regions of Italy. Different areas may use different dough or sauces; “Lasagna di Carnevale” originating from the city of Naples is made with local sausage, fried meatballs, hard-boiled eggs, ricotta or mozzarella, and Neapolitan Ragu. Another popular variation of this lasagna dish is called “Lasagna Verde Alla Bolognese” originating from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna and is made with ricotta or mozzarella, thick Ragu, bechamel sauce, wine, onion, oregano, and green sheets of pasta made with spinach.
Italian cuisine has it all, it even has its own fondue; Bagna Cauda is a preparation based on extra virgin olive oil, anchovies, and garlic, all reduced to a sauce after long cooking. It means hot dip or hot gravy, and it’s considered a main course but can also be served as an appetizer in cold seasons. It’s the perfect dip for raw or cooked veggies and bread, even a persuasive dish for kids to eat their healthy food by masking the taste with the Bagna Sauce.
Carrots, celery, artichokes, cauliflower, mushrooms, eggs, onions, and other assorted veggies can be dipped in the Bagna sauce, and their taste is totally taken to another level.
This dish originated in Piedmont in the 16th century. It was a very cozy and heartwarming dish that became a ritual, a convivial moment of sharing among the diners, who all eat from a single terracotta container.
This dish even has its special “Bagna Cauda day” that actually lasts for an entire weekend starting from Friday to Sunday any time around November 20th.
Restaurants, wine bars, and historical wine cellars are flooded with people celebrating and sharing the warmth of the bagna cauda rite.
This dish is even a personal favorite of Pope Francis.