What comes to your mind when you think of Italy? Wine. And delicious dishes.
The popularity of Italian cuisine is undeniable with Italian restaurants popping up at every corner. Whether you’re after fine dining or in need of an affordable meal, you won’t struggle to find a place that serves your favourite food.
While there are many variations of the most beloved Italian dishes, the classics never get old. From pizza to tiramisu, below we present the most popular Italian dishes.
Pizza – tasty and versatile. It’s a perfect party starter but also a hangover cure and the best comfort food. Originated in Campania, southwestern region of Italy, pizza Napoletana consists of simple ingredients and a thin crust. The most basic variation is marinara with a tomato sauce base and garlic and oregano flavour plus virgin olive oil. Margherita, on the other hand, is the more popular option topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil leaves. Whatever the toppings are, pizza is the ultimate treat.
If pizza is the most popular Italian food, pasta comes as a strong second. Its origins can be traced back to the Italian region, Lazio. According to the tales, carbonara was a meal specifically prepared for charcoal workers. The authentic carbonara is made with pork jowl, eggs and cheese, however, nothing compares to the creamy modern version that’s most people’s top choice. The thin noodles covered in a thick sauce with cream, bacon and cheese – it’s a perfect recipe for a delicious but simple meal.
Perfectly filling, lasagna is a treat for pasta lovers who enjoy something a little extra. The dish is layered with thin and flat pasta and stuffed with a variety of fillings: meats and vegetables, cheese or seasonings and spices. Even though nowadays it typically includes tomato sauce, the first recipes were recorded in the 14th century when they weren’t yet known in Europe. The traditional lasagna invented in Naples was made with sausage, meatballs, eggs, ricotta and mozzarella flavoured with meat sauce. Fun fact: lasagna is Garfield’s (comic cat) favourite meal.
Last but not least, the dreamy Italian dessert we all love. Tiramisu is made of finger biscuits layered with custard and flavoured with chocolate and liquor. It gained popularity due to its pudding-like consistency and subtle coffee flavour. It’s unclear where it was invented although its origins are dated back to the 1960s or 70s. It was likely inspired by tiremesu, a half-frozen dessert served in Pieris since 1938. With its mouth-watering flavour and name translating into “cheer me up” in Italian, tiramisu is a great treat for any kind of occasion. Whether you’re celebrating or feeling down or simply want a dessert to complete your dinner, tiramisu is definitely deserving of its fanbase.
Italian cuisine is known for the high-quality ingredients and simple culinary process but meticulous preparation. The list of the most popular dishes could be endless – Italian food offers something for everyone, after all. Did your favourite make the list?