The 10 Best Classic Italian Dishes

The best Italian dishes you have to try are found almost everywhere. The days when the Italian kitchen was confined within the country’s borders are long gone. You can simply find your own local restaurant and serve Italian food without even knowing its origins.

Italian food is all about the simplicity of fresh ingredients. The food is always made with passion and there’s an unmistakable profile of ingredients that almost certainly goes well with a glass of wine. Here are the Italian foods you simply cannot overlook if you love to eat.

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10. Ossobuco

Ossobuco Alla Milanese can be translated as ‘hollow bone’. This basic type of food meat with bone is cooked for hours very slowly. When it’s done, it falls off the bone easily and it served with vegetables.

White wine is an excellent addition to such a meal. However, most restaurants don’t offer it in their menus since it takes so long to cook. You need to call in advance to have it prepared for you even at Italian restaurants.

9. Polenta

Polenta is a traditional Italian food that has a very interesting history. Corn mush wasn’t always the go-to meal of the average Italian. Corn was only introduced to Europe in the 16th century from North America. Mesh was main from other starch grains but corn quickly turned polenta to one of the affordable meals Italians could have daily.

You can serve polenta without any other additions. However, hot fresh polenta is best served with yogurt or milk. If you’re looking for something more substantial, you can also ask for a stew with polenta as an alternative to mashed potatoes.

8. Caprese salad

A simple salad with top ingredients can be better than complex meals that take hours to prepare. Caprese salads have this potential. They only require a few ingredients and they are perfect in the summer as an antipasto before a consistent meal.

Slice of fresh tomato, mozzarella slices, basil, and pesto sauce is what this salad is all about. You can also add a bit of olive oil on top and your Caprese salad is going to be something to get you excited no matter how many times you serve it.

7. Panettone

Sweets aren’t something Italians aren’t familiar with. In fact, panettone was invented in Italy. This sweet cake is now popular around the world, especially at Christmas time. It represents one of the simplest desserts which can be served on its own or with a sweet topping.

Panettone is now found in coffee shops of all types. If you want to eat the most authentic panettone, you should visit an Italian bakery where you will find different versions, mainly with raisins.

6. Tiramisu

Tiramisu is another delicious Italian dessert you can serve in coffee shops. It’s based on a layer of sponge fingers soaked in black coffee and layered with mascarpone cheese. Cocoa powder is added on top to make this delicious treat even better. Tiramisu is typically served cold as most places even keep it in fridges overnight. However, you should not serve it in the evening as its coffee can keep you up late at night.

5. Lasagna

Lasagna is an excellent Italian meal which you can make at home or which you can buy in many restaurants and eateries around the world. It also uses layering principles. Pasta layers are mixed with minced lamb and bacon. Cheese is also added to traditional lasagna. Some regions of Italy top lasagna with vegetables instead of cheese. However, if you’re a vegetarian, there are hundreds of lasagna recipes you can try out on your own without lamb or bacon.

4. Risotto

Risotto is the simplest form of long-cooked rice, yet so few people make it right. Risotto with mushrooms is an Italian recipe that is very tasty and not as heavy as meat-packed lasagna.

To make the best risotto, you need to boil the rice slowly stirring it until it starts to become a paste. Ingredients such as butter, salt, and parsley can be added to the recipe. You may also think about the way you prepare the mushrooms. For the best risotto, you may even consider using different types of mushrooms cooked with fresh garlic.

3. Pasta carbonara

Not many foods are more Italian than pasta. There are hundreds of types of pasta for you to try. Pasta carbonara is one of the simplest meals you can enjoy if you love Mediterranean food. You can prepare your own carbonara sauce that is added to the boiled pasta or you can buy one at the supermarket. Alternatively, you can try it at an Italian restaurant that also makes pasta from scratch for the most authentic Italian experience.

2. Focaccia bread

Similar to pizza, focaccia bread is a great Italian dish to quickly deal with hunger. You need a small piece of fresh dough that you top with onions, tomato slices, basil, and parmesan cheese. This piece of dough is then added to the oven where you allow it to cook and the cheese to melt. You can serve focaccia bread before your meal arrives at the restaurant as well.

1. Pizza

Pizza has taken the world by storm. This Italian food is now made in nearly every country in the world. It only uses a simple dough base which is topped with different ingredients. Quattro formaggi is a type of Italian pizza that only uses cheese topping. 4 types of cheese are added to this pizza before placing it in the oven. This delicious melt is best served warm.

Another simple option is the Margherita Pizza. It uses tomato, basil, and mozzarella. This simple combination can also be served plain or with a glass of wine or even a cold glass of beer. Both Quattro formaggi and pizza Margherita are found in almost all Italian pizzerias around the world. You can’t miss them. At the same time, you can make your own pizza by adding spare ingredients you have inside the fridge.