Lasagna, pesto, ossobuco, panna cotta… wherever you are, whatever the occasion Italian food names make you ravenous! Craving a morsel of Italian bliss? Eager to learn more about the world’s most coveted cuisine? Read on (and don’t let go of your fork!)

How Do You Say Food In Italian?

First and foremost: Italians take food seriously. Each and every aspect of il cibo (pron. CHEE-BOH, that’s how you say food in Italian) from choosing and buying, to preparing, cooking, serving and eating it – is meaningful and momentous. Be it breakfastprima colazionelunchpranzo – or dinnercena, Italians have their time-honored traditions and customs, and they delight in them. Then you can have a spuntino (small snack) all-day-long, you can do merenda (have a snack) in the afternoon. So, however you say food in Italian, the important thing is: taste, enjoy, try your hand at it and… rejoice loud and clear!

Authentic Italian Food is Regional

The other basic, vital, feature of food in Italian culture is regionality. Each region, often each town, village and household, has its prized local specialties. In Italy, eating authentic Italian food is the standard. You can find authentic food wherever you are, even in the biggest cities. And wherever you go, the inhabitants are ready to swear theirs is, simply, the best. That’s the good side of parochialism.

So, however you say food in Italian, the important thing is: taste, enjoy, try your hand at it and… rejoice loud and clear!

Italian Meal Structure

Italian meals are always different, depending on the zone and the family style. Even thought, a traditional full Italian lunch or dinner features:

  1. antipasto – appetizer
  2. primo piatto – first course
  3. secondo piatto – second course/entrée
  4. dolce (or frutta) – dessert (or fruit)
  5. caffé – coffee

Naturally not even the most bona fide Italian gourmands sample this kind of menu twice daily nowadays. An average weekday Italian meal structure is today two courses max, with or without a dessert, and coffee.

But all Italians (especially mamma!) are adamant: sitting down together to enjoy a complete conventional Italian meal is a must on Sundays, festive occasions and holidays.

A Standard Christmas Day Lunch

Italian Christmas Lunch

Italian Christmas Appetizer Ideas

A bountiful example is Christmas Day Lunch. The feasting starts with a variety of antipasti. Regional preferences here are crucial, so you can have big differences if you are in Naples or in Turin. Let’s have a closer look to some traditional Italian antipasti:

  • Fresh and Seasoned Cheeses
  • Home-prepared Vegetable Preserves – zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, etc
  • Crispy Crostini – topped with chicken liver paté in Tuscany
  • Cured Meatsprosciutto crudo, salame, lardo, etc
  • Deep-fried specialties – a gargantuan spread ranging from stuffed olives in Ascoli, to gooey mozzarella and anchovy-filled zucchini flowers and codfish in Rome. 

Italian Christmas Recipes

The banquet continues with handsome plates of homemade hand-rolled pasta treats. Northern and Central Italian kitchens generally yield filled pasta, – such as tortellini, ravioli, cappelletti or tortelli with meat or cheese, herb and vegetables or fish fillings. While Southern Italian cooks serve seafood-based first courses, rich pasta timbales or soups.

The meal resumes with braised or oven-baked meats – often birds like guinea fowl, pheasant, stuffed chicken, or game like wild boar, deer, etc. These are served with a rainbow of fresh vegetables glistening with newly harvested olive oil. Climate, as well as local gusto and traditions make for an amazing collection of regional highlights. 

While snow-capped Val D’Aosta offers creamy fondue (fonduta) for cozy sharing, Sicilian cooks lay out herring and orange salad with anchovies and fennel. Piedmont showcases its vitello tonnato – veal slices doused in tuna fish, caper and anchovy sauce.

Whatever the menu holiday staple desserts – puffy, buttery Panettone speckled with raisins and candied citrus fruit bits, Pandoro covered with powdered sugar and spiced sweetmeat Panforte crown the repast. 

And, on the sideboard, we have walnuts, almonds, chocolates, chocolate covered orange zest and croccante – a kind of crispy nougat. All accompanied by generous glasses of full-bodied red wines, Prosecco and Spumante.

Italian Breakfast Foods

caffè cornetto Italian breakfast

Never forget the words cornetto and cappuccino. The quintessential Italian breakfast is “al bar”, i.e. at the café. Though Italian families nowadays often enjoy breakfast at home with bread and jam, homemade tarts, juice and chocolate milk for the kids and strong moka coffee for daddy.

Walk down any Italian street in the early morning and you’ll understand why. Il Bar, the curb-side café, is an institution. TIn those called bar-pasticceria you can have the best Italian breakfast food. It lures passers-by with beckoning whiffs of espresso, frothy cappuccinos and freshly baked sugary good. There you can meet the friendly smile of the bartender, who remembers the regulars’ names and choices.

At the bars there’s something for everyone, a joke, a grin and a polychrome spread of Italian breakfast food. Cream or jam-filled cornetti, flaky pastries, dainty budino di riso or decadent fried bombolone, bursting with custard-like vanilla cream.

First Course In Italian

The importance of having il primo is something you can’t miss.

What comes to your mind when you think about your favorite first course in Italian cuisine? An Italian meal can be meatless, dessert-less and even wine-free, but no proper Italian meal starts without il primo piatto

When did pasta come to Italy?

Pasta, is the undisputed queen of the Italian table. It is renowned world-wide and beloved by all. Short, long, water-and-flour or egg-based, filled, layered and oven-baked… There is no end to pasta dishes, but have you ever wondered when did pasta come to Italy? who invented it? Though a fascinating legend claims Marco Polo brought it over from the Far East, the origins of pasta date back as far as the Etruscans (4th century BC) and Ancient Rome. There actually is an Etruscan tomb depicting all necessary equipment to knead and roll out perfect pasta from scratch, and lagane, the ancestors of lasagna, where habitually served at Caesar’s feasts!

Not Only Pasta – Other Italian First Courses 

Italian first courses also comprise cornmeal polenta dishes, especially in the northern part of the country, and rice-based specialties. An all-time favorite is iconic risotto. Risotto’s recipe consists in gently cooking rice in broth with vegetables, fish, or cheese and generous doses of butter. 

Summertime brings on colorful savory alternatives like refreshing panzanella, a tasty bread-based salad with crispy cucumbers, tomatoes and onion, and insalata di riso, well-seasoned rice salad.

Zuppe and minestre, i.e. deliciously warming soups, are best-seller first courses in Italian kitchens too. Traditional recipes range from veggie-based classic minestrone with pasta to Neapolitan minestra maritata – pork, kale, chicory and escarole. Traveling north don’t miss tasting zuppa alla Valpellinenze – made with bread, fontina cheese and cabbage. In Tuscany seafront, in Viareggio or Livorno, you’ll find rich cacciucco, a soul-satisfying soup brimming with flavorful local fish.

italian soups

Italian Meats and Fish

An extensive coastline, unspoiled woods, rolling pastures and centuries of fishing, hunting and livestock rearing. Italy’s geography and traditions are what make Italian meats and fish so appealing and diverse. 

In Italy it’s never just “meat and potatoes” ! Regional traits and seasonal availability provide an amazing selection of scrumptious dishes, lovingly prepared with the freshest choice ingredients and according to tradition

Champion staples include slow-cooked favorites such as mellow brasato al Barolo, beef simmered in one of Piedmont’s most exceptional wines. In Lombardy you can have Milanese ossobuco (literally bone with a hole!), veal shank and bone marrow with a zesty gremolata.

Italian Meats Recipes

A special treat you can easily master and make at home is saltimbocca alla romana. Thinly slice your veal and top each slice off with slices of good prosciutto and leaves of fresh sage. Then coat one side of your slices with a little flour, sauté them in butter until golden, sprinkle with a little white wine and reduce. Your friends will love you!

If you’re a fish and seafood gourmand make sure you don’t miss fritto misto di pesce, a delectable spread of deep-fried fish and seafood. 

Another fish must-try is catch of the day all’acqua pazza, (literally “crazy water”!) which dates back to the Middle Ages when fishermen used to cook their fish in seawater seasoned with a bit of olive oil and tomato. 

Vegetarian Italian Recipes

Italy’s mild climate, neatly groomed fields, orchards and thick woods yield sun-kissed fresh produce, glorious mushrooms and scented truffle… No doubt there are so many superb vegetarian Italian recipes to choose from!

After all Italian’s best traditional dishes come from la cucina contadina, the farmers’ kitchen. Seasonal local peasant’s fare  – i.e. vegetables, pulses and grains – offer a rich selection of ingredients for mouth-watering vegetarian Italian recipes.

Among the most renowned and adored are eggplant Parmigiana –  a luscious casserole made of layers of grilled or deep-fried eggplant, tomato sauce and cheese – and Caprese salad – thick slices of mozzarella cheese and fresh tomato topped off with basil and olive oil. 

Italian Food List

Italian Antipasto Platters

List of Italian Cured Meats

  • Prosciutto Crudo: dry-cured uncooked ham. Of a subtle rosy red color marbled with delicious fat it is at once sweet and intense in flavor. The most renowned are prosciutto di Parma, aged 10-12 months, and San Daniele, aged 15-18 months.
  • Prosciutto Cotto: light pink in color and lighter in flavor than crudo this ham is slowly cooked at low temperatures and then sliced. Sometimes seasoned with herbs or spices for added flavor it makes for a great panino.
  • Finocchiona: born and bred in the Tuscan hills, where it is also called sbriciolona. It is made by mincing the best lean pork cuts and mixing them with salt, garlic powder, pepper and fennel seeds. Guess who loved it? Machiavelli!
  • Mortadella: sorry, but there is no such thing as baloney! Authentic mortadella from Bologna is a cooked cured meat made with 100% premium pork. Delicate in flavor and smooth in texture it is spiced with pepper, pistachios and myrtle berries.
  • Bresaola: is the Italian dieter’s dream! Made from premium beef salted and air-dried in Valtellina it is at once deliciously savoury and extremely lean. At its best served with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon.
  • ‘Nduja: pronounced “N – do – ya”, this less-renowned culinary delight is a powerfully spicy spreadable cured meat concoction typical of Calabria made with pork cuts and the region’s stunning spicy red peppers.
  • Pancetta: known as “Italian bacon”, this tasty cured cut of pork belly is spiced with black pepper; often rolled into a cylinder to age (“pancetta arrotolata”) it is served thinly sliced as antipasto or cut into cubes and pan-fried for pasta or risotto recipes.

Italian Cheese Types

Italian cheeses
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: hard superior granular cheese aged at least 12 months (but can be refined until 90 months) produced in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia, with a unique compact and crumbly texture.
  • Pecorino: shepherds’ favorite cheese. Made with sheep’s milk, the pecorino cheese appeals to adults and children. There are different varieties, fresh, semi-seasoned or mature pecorino.
  • Gorgonzola: dating back to the early Middle Ages and made with whole cow’s milk it comes to age in the ancient ripening caves in the Gorgonzola area. Texture and taste vary a lot according to age, from buttery to firm to crumbly and spicy. 
  • Castelmagno: strong flavored pungent seasoned cheese made from partially skimmed cow’s milk combined with goat or sheep’s milk
  • Fontina: mild and somewhat nutty in flavor this smooth-textured cheese produced in Val d’Aosta ever since the 12th century is at its best blended with milk and eggs and turned into luscious fonduta.
  • Burrata: mozzarella’s wonderful cousin! Produced from cold unpasteurized cow’s milk it is a parcel-like small mozzarella filled with semi-liquid mozzarella cream. It is made by adding whey to milk, warming it and then dividing it into bits.
  • Canestrato: a firm full-flavored spicy cheese from Puglia still traditionally made by hand-pressing the curd through willow baskets. The premium type is brought to age in cellar-like caves.
  • Mascarpone: a mild fresh cheese which is actually a lightly whipped cream and not a cheese! Used to make Tiramisu it is milky white to straw yellow in color, compact, supple and spreadable.

Italian Pasta Types

italian fresh pasta types

Pasta Shapes and Names

Italian Dry Pasta Types Names

  1. Bucatini: a long pasta with a hole in the center, practically a “hollowed-through” thick spaghetti. Traditionally used to make one of Rome’s flagship dishes – bucatini all’Amatriciana
  2. Calamarata: a short wide pasta shaped like a ring typical of the Naples area. Named after “calamari” – squid – it works wonderfully with tasty, possibly spicy, fish and seafood sauces
  3. Conchiglie: i.e. “seashells”. This short pasta beloved by Italian children comes in several sizes. The large type is perfect stuffed (with ricotta cheese and spinach for example), the classic smaller version great with tomato sauces or meat ragout
  4. Farfalle: literally “butterflies”, a cheerful bowtie-shaped short pasta. Works fabulously with smoked salmon bits or in a cream and prosciutto sauce
  5. Linguine: namely “little tongues”. Long and thin they look like flattened spaghetti and are ideal with fish or shellfish sauces
  6. Mafalde: also known as Reginette – fancy-looking long pasta ribbons with frills that have a deep link with Princess Mafalda di Savoia name. Delicious with delicate flavorsome veggie sauces.
  7. Rigatoni: a substantial medium-large tube pasta with square-cut ends and ridges along its length. Simply divine alla carbonara (egg, bacon, black pepper), or with a sun-dried tomato, almond and pecorino cheese pesto.

Fresh Pasta Types

  1. Orecchiette: namely “little ears”, a small dome-shaped pasta with a rough ridged surface from Puglia. Made with durum wheat and water only (no eggs) they are at their best served in a tasty slightly spicy turnip top sauce (“Orecchiette alle cime di rapa”).
  2. Pappardelle: thick flat egg pasta ribbons typical of Tuscany and Northern Italy. At their best served with rich game sauces like wild boar or rabbit.
  3. Pici: hand-rolled irregular thick long pasta. A staple in Umbrian and Southern Tuscan kitchens served with a rich garlic or goose sauce
  4. Tagliatelle: long ribbons of egg-based pasta. Originally from Emilia-Romagna, where every single lady over 18 has her own personal pasta rolling pin, and each ribbon has to be 7mm wide, they pair splendidly with hearty meat ragout.
  5. Scialatielli: short flat pasta ribbons made with durum wheat, milk and eggs typical of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Superb with fresh seafood sauces.
  6. Spaghetti alla Chitarra: long square egg-based spaghetti typical of Abruzzo they are named after the tool (the chitarra, literally “guitar”) used to make them, a sort of frame with parallel wires across. 
  7. Trofie: a short thin twisted pasta made of durum wheat and water. Typical of Liguria trofie are THE ultimate pasta to season with fresh basil pesto (basil, pinenuts, olive oil, garlic and grated pecorino cheese well minced in a mortar).

Filled Pasta Types

filled pasta types tortelli
  1. Agnolotti: semicircular or square pasta “packets” filled with ricotta and/or other cheeses combined with meats (agnolotti di grasso), or vegetables (agnolotti di magro).
  2. Cappelletti: namely “small hat”. Typical of Emilia Romagna and filled with soft cheeses and vegetables – or, more rarely, meat – they do look like chubby and luscious little hats!
  3. Fagottini: literally “little bundles”. Common throughout the whole of Italy they are made from a round of dough gathered into a ball-shaped “parcel” and frequently stuffed with ricotta and fresh pear.
  4. Pansoti: triangular-shaped, with a vegetable-filled center. Originally from Liguria where pansoti means “big bellies”.
  5. Ravioli: two pieces of egg-based pasta, generally square, set one atop the other and filled with cheese, ground meat, pureed vegetables, minced fish or seafood… combinations, and flavors, are unending! 
  6. Tortelli: a sheet of pasta folded into a triangle or half-circle, with the ends bound in a ring-like shape. Stuffed in many ways, like ravioli, tortelli also boast a sweet version typical of the city of Crema.
  7. Tortellini: the flagship pasta of Bologna and the Emilia Romagna region. Namely a “small tortello” these 25x20mm ring-shaped delights are usually stuffed with a mixture of meat and cheese. Wonderful “in brodo”, in a tasty clear chicken broth, they work well both with ragouts and lighter sauces.

Italian Soups List

  1. Acquacotta: an ancient peasant recipe originally from coastal Maremma where it was “invented” to be able to repurpose old hard bread. Namely “cooked water” it is a hot broth-based soup with bread, onion, tomato and olive oil.
  2. Buridda: a stew-like flavorful Ligurian soup chock full of local seafood slow cooked in fish broth with tomato, onion and garlic. Traditionally it was served with gallette del marinaio – dried out bread buns – soaked in it.
  3. Macco: (or maccu in Sicilian dialect) – a very thick nourishing peasant soup made with dried crushed fava beans and fennel and drizzled with olive oil.
  4. Minestrone: a thick vegetable soup with the addition of pasta or rice. Main ingredients generally include beans, onion and seasonal vegetables.
  5. Pappa al pomodoro: a superb thick Tuscan summertime dish prepared with fresh tomatoes, stale Tuscan bread (unsalted), olive oil, garlic, basil, and various other fresh ingredients. Can be served hot, room temperature, or chilled.
  6. Ribollita: yet another exquisite Tuscan staple: a rich soup which combines seasonal vegetables, among which kale, beans and the distinctive local bread.
  7. Stracciatella: from the Italian stracciare – to shred. A very popular family soup made by drizzling egg into boiling meat broth and stirring. 

Italian Bakery Products

Types of Italian Breads

types bread italy
  1. Ciabatta – literally “slipper” (!). A broad, somewhat flat, loaf of white bread made with wheat flour, water, salt, yeast and olive oil.
  2. Coppia Ferrarese – a sourdough bread with a distinctive, very alluring, twisted shape. Made with flour, lard, malt, and olive oil. Typical of Ferrara it dates back to the 13th century.
  3. Michetta – a small bulging rose-shaped white bread roll typical of Milan. The perfect roll to fill with prosciutto!
  4. Pane Carasau – typical of Sardinia (carasau=toasted in Sardinian) it is an ancient traditional crisp flatbread made with durum wheat flour, water, salt and yeast which keeps very well. Prepared in very wide paper-thin sheets it can be fried in olive oil (pane guttiau) for a special tasty treat.
  5. Pane di Altamura – a thick-crusted naturally leavened bread with a soft fluffy inside. Made exclusively in the Altamura area in Puglia from re-milled locally produced durum wheat semolina. 
  6. Pane Toscano – Tuscan bread, a typical white bread loaf traditionally made without any salt.

Types of Italian Pizza

pizza calzone types

First and foremost: independently of the topping, authentic Italian pizza can be: 

  1. Pizza Napoletana – traditional ancient Neapolitan pizza made with wheat flour, Neapolitan yeast or brewer’s yeast, salt, and water. Left to rise for up to 24 hours it is then hand-shaped into a flat, round disk, garnished and baked for 90 seconds in a blistering oven. The result is a soft centered pizza with a thick fluffy crust all around. Made according to the current legislation Pizza Napoletana is a Traditional Guaranteed Speciality (Specialità Tradizionale Garantita, STG) European product.
  1. Pizza Romana – made with wheat flour (wholewheat alternatives are becoming quite popular nowadays too), yeast, water and salt and cooked in a wood-fired oven. This pizza has a thin, crisp base very different from the thicker and softer Neapolitan style base.

Authentic Italian Pizzas Ingredients

  1. Pizza capricciosa – mozzarella, tomato sauce, mushrooms, baby artichokes, cooked ham, olives
  2. Pizza quattro formaggi – i.e. four cheese pizza – tomato sauce, mozzarella and 3 other cheeses, typically stracchino, fontina and gorgonzola
  3. Pizza bianca – i.e. white pizza – pizza dough baked with the mozzarella cheese only, no tomato sauce, and topped off with olive oil, salt and occasionally fresh or dried herbs
  4. Pizza marinara – tomato sauce, garlic, dried oregano and extra-virgin olive oil
  5. Pizza Margherita – tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil. Created in Naples in honour of Italy’s former queen Margherita

Other types of salty (savoury) cakes

Calzone – an oven-baked stuffed pizza (similar to a US turnover) made with leavened dough folded into a crescent moon shape and traditionally filled with salami or ham and/or vegetables, mozzarella and/or ricotta, parmesan or pecorino cheese, and sometimes an egg.

Crescentina Modenese (also called tigelle) – thin, small, round flatbreads from the Apennines mountains above Modena, in Emilia-Romagna. Made from flour, water, salt, and yeast, relished by locals filled with cunza, a pork lard spread, or local cured meats.

Gnocco Fritto – a mouthwatering deep-fried bread typical of Emilia Romagna, made with flour, water and lard. It is served, hot, with cheeses and cured meats.

Focaccia – a flat oven-baked bread seasoned with salt and extra-virgin olive oil. Similar to pizza dough in style and texture it is extremely popular used as a side for meals or as sandwich bread.

Panzerotto – a savoury deep-fried turnover typical of Southern and Central Italy which resembles a “baby calzone”. Traditionally stuffed with mozzarella cheese and tomato it can be found with a variety of fillings.

Torta Rustica – a homemade savoury “rustic” pie made with puff or shortcrust dough filled with cheeses (often ricotta), vegetables and/or cured meats.

Italian Food Names for the Second Course

Italian Meats

Italian Meat Recipes are countless and luscious. Among the most popular:

  1. Abbacchio – a staple of authentic Roman cuisine. Marinated milk-fed lamb stewed with herbs (rosemary, sage, garlic), anchovies, white wine and vinegar and served with oven-baked potatoes. Traditionally prepared for Easter lunch.
  2. Bistecca alla Fiorentina – i.e. Florentine-style beefsteak a thickly cut char grilled or barbecued T-bone veal or heifer steak. It comes from Chianina breed of cattle and it is served “al sangue” , very rare, it is best enjoyed with a view, in Florence or on the Chianti hills.
  3. Coda alla Vaccinara – a typical Roman oxtail stew made by parboiling the oxtail and then slow-cooking the meat with celery, carrots, and herbs. Tomatoes, red wine onion, garlic, prosciutto, bay leaves, celery stalks, and cloves are added later, as are pepper and spices
  4. Cotechino – the quintessential Italian New Year’s Eve dish. A large pork sausage (made by filling the casing with pork rind, fat, pork cuts and spices) simmered at low heat for several hours and served with lentils
  5. Ossobuco – Milanese specialty, cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. Traditionally garnished with gremolata and served with saffron-laced risotto alla milanese
  6. Costolette (Rosticciana) – Italy’s version of spareribs! Typical of Tuscany, where country life revolves around barbecues in summer and fireplaces in winter, it is made with pork ribs from locally-reared animals.

Italian Fish

  1. Baccalà – dried and salted cod traditionally cooked in stews. Regional recipes include baccalà alla livornese, slow-cooked with tomatoes, onion, garlic, black pepper, baccalà alla vicentina with sardines, onion and milk, and Venice’s creamy version, baccalà mantecato
  2. Gamberi (or Scampi) alla Busara – scampi or prawns simmered in a mildly spicy tomato, garlic, onions and red pepper sauce. Like many other fish recipes this unsophisticated and delightful dish showcases the taste of local seafood
  3. Impepata di Cozze – also called Sautè di Cozze – “peppered mussels” are a superb example of a very easy yet mouth watering Italian Fish recipe. Fresh catch of the day mussels are steamed in their own juice, with black pepper, and then garnished with parsley and lemon wedges. Enjoy with slices of toasted bread to dip into the juice! 
  4. Insalata di Polpo – a tasty salad-like dish made with boiled octopus, potato and black olives seasoned with lemon, olive oil and black pepper originally from Naples and the Amalfi Coast area 
  5. Sarde a Beccafico –  sardines stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, anchovies, raisins and pinenuts, covered with citrus juice and baked. This Sicilian flagship dish was invented by the island’s fishermen to replace the (expensive and rare) stuffed beccafico birds eaten by the nobles with a humbler sardine dish. 
  6. Seppie in zimino (or all’inzimino) – a flavorsome concoction of cuttlefish sauteed with leafy greens, usually chard. Typical of Tuscany and Liguria it dates way back in history. The term in zimino or all’inzimino, which comes from the Arabic asseminu meaning a thick sauce, has been used ever since the 12th century to describe dishes made with fish and leafy greens. 

Desserts in Italian

Italian dessert types

Italian Desserts comprise a variety of different sweets, ranging from home-made goodies eaten for breakfast or merenda (snack), to the fancy treats you buy in a pasticceria, to elaborate dessert cakes, leavened cakes and ices.

  1. Babà – a small “mushroom-shaped” cake made with egg, milk and butter soaked in a rum-based syrup. Sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream it is typical of Naples.
  2. Biscotti – the word biscotti is the Italian for “cookies”. There are countless types of biscotti, among the most beloved: dainty round baci di dama filled with cream, twice-baked oblong Tuscan almond cantucci (great dipped in Vinsanto dessert wine), chewy ricciarelli  made with almond meal and egg white and savoiardi – sponge finger cookies used for tiramisu.
  3. Cannoli – plural of “cannolo”a Sicilian tube-shaped shell of deep-fried pastry dough filled with a sweet, creamy ricotta filling, candied citrus fruits, sometimes chocolate bits and/or raisins.
  4. Crostata – from the Latin “crusta”, i.e. crust. A pastry dough open-faced tart filled with jam or cream (crema pasticcera) covered with fresh fruit The jam version is a typical home-made merenda treat for children.
  5. Gelato – i.e. Italian ice-cream, renowned and adored worldwide. As the story goes it was first invented by Catherine de’ Medici’s Tuscan chef.
  6. Panna Cotta – originally from the Langhe region in Piedmont this dessert made with sweetened cream thickened with gelatin is served with scrumptious fruit or chocolate toppings.
  7. Pasta di Mandorle – i.e. almond paste. Made from ground almonds or almond meal and sugar in equal quantities, with small amounts of cooking oil, beaten eggs, heavy cream or corn syrup. Used mostly in Sicily as a filling or to make soft cookies. 
  8. Semifreddo – namely half-frozen. A frozen dessert similar to ice-cream made by churning air into whipped cream while it freezes. Semifreddo is very similar to a dense mousse and served shaped like a cake or loaf.

The best wine for italian food

Et però credo che molta felicità sia agli homini che nascono dove si trovano i vini buoni – and I do believe that there is much happiness to those men who are born where there are good wines. This wrote Leonardo Da Vinci

Trying to find the best wine for Italian food? Well, all depends on where you are, what season it is and what you are about to eat! Colors, varieties, vintages and aromas are infinite. Among the most prized (and my personal favorites):

  1. Amarone
  2. Barolo
  3. Barbaresco
  4. Brunello di Montalcino
  5. Chianti
  6. Lambrusco
  7. Moscato
  8. Rosso di Montalcino
  9. Prosecco
  10. Sassicaia
  11. Spumante
  12. Vinsanto

With this small wines list we have finished our journey into Italian food names. We hope you have appreciated. If you feel something is missing, do not hesitate and leave a comment below!

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