To a lot of people, going to Italy means eating in Italy and there are a lot of foods in Italy to eat. However, if you have a very limited amount of time to spend in the country or if you are too busy to go on a food trip, there are Italian dishes that you should definitely try. You cannot leave Italy without tasting the Italian foods that we will be discussing below.
If you have never heard of any of these dishes, and there’s a good chance of this being the case, that’s all right. It’s even more reason to try them, then.
Pesto alla Genovese
As you might have already guessed based on the name, this dish has pesto as its main feature. Originating from Genoa, it’s basically made of garlic, basil, sea salt, Parmesan, olive oil, and pine nuts. Incredibly simply and yet oh so delicious, this is a dish that you will not be able to forget once you’ve tasted it.
Basically soup, this dish hearkens to the early days of Italy where Tuscan soup is reheated the next day and that’s where the name comes from. Ribollita simply means reboiled. Don’t worry though, as this dish is still unbelievably rich and flavourful, especially when it comes with stale bread and bought from the old square market in Florence.
Tortelli di zucca
Hardly known outside of Italy, Tortelli di zucca is basically pasta with filling. Usually the filling is zucca, which is squash, along with sage and butter. Don’t confuse these for Ravioli, though, since these are certainly not Ravioli. Ask for it from some of the smaller, more traditional restaurants in older parts of Italy.
Risotto alla Milanese
Essentially Risotto from Milan, Risotto alla Milanese is the kind of dish that, when made by the right people in the right place with the right ingredients is way beyond what you’ll find anywhere else. So, yes, risotto is served in other countries. However, you’ll never be satisfied with those renditions once you’ve tried Trattoria Milanese’s version of it.
Cacio e pepe
Visit any of the family-run restaurants in Rome and ask for Cacio e pepe. It will fill you up to the brim and make you satisfied all day. It’s an incredibly simple dish but is so classically Italian that the owners and servers would likely treat you as one of their own once you get it. The dish dates back a long way, when meat was not exactly easy to come by.
Not exactly a dish and more of an ingredient, anything with Tartufo nero or Black Truffles is something that you definitely want to put in your mouth. The delicacy of the flavour and the richness of the aroma that it adds to any dish it is combined with makes the trip and the expense worthwhile. That’s something to bear in mind, as well, since truffles are a tad expensive.
Finally, we come to Caponata, one of the most common, and yet distinctive dishes in Italy. It’s usually made with aubergines and tomatoes, along with select seasonal ingredients, and makes for a memorable food experience.