Pasta and pizza are in everyone’s minds when talking about Italian recipes and those are the most popular. Italian cooking is much more varied, as different areas have their own regional dishes.
You will find polenta and risottos in the north of Italy, bean casseroles in the Tuscan region and salami in Calabria. Butter and cream are central to recipes from the north, while tomato and olive oil are omnipresent in the south. Not even pasta and pizza were created equal along Italy. Big pasta tubes, like rigatoni, are preferred in the south; stuffed pasta shapes, like ravioli, are a specialty of the northern regions, while tagliatelle predominates in the center; spaghetti is found everywhere. Pizza bases are thick in Sicily and Naples and thin in Rome.
A traditional Italian meal will start with antipasto –appetizers, they may come hot or cold- followed by two courses, salad or vegetables as a side dish, dessert, with coffee and liquors to provide closure. The first course is the most filling, usually risotto or pasta, becoming effectively the main course. The second course is light.
Minestrone Veronese - not as difficult to prepare as the list of ingredients suggests.
Traditional wedding soup - a soup with meatballs.
Zuppa jota - an Italian soup with German influences... it uses sauerkraut!
Angel hair with shrimp sauce - fast food Italian style. Angel hair cooks quick and the sauce can be prepared while the pasta cooks.
Pasta e fagioli - follow the slow cooked recipe or the quick pasta e fagioli.
Desserts, cakes and treats
Tiramisu - get familiar with this delicious Italian dessert.
Easter panettone - a delcious sweet bread associated withr Christmas but consumed also in many other holidays and special occasions.
Other Italian recipes
Carne cruda - a delicious recipe from Piedmonte, Italy, know as steak tartar almost everywhere else.
Gnocchi from scratch - for the truly adventurous, you can make your own gnocchi, which are after all just dumplings made from potato.
Gnocchi with spinach - gnocchi with a flavorful spinach and cheese sauce. Simple, filling, and delicious.
Tomato gnocchi - take a step up from those spinach gnocchi and try the tomato ones.
Milanese risotto - it is not only pasta, there are also great Italian recipes with rice.