Authentic Italian Recipes

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Italy is rich not only in history and culture, but also in traditional Italian recipes. As a matter of fact, aside from the all-time authentic Italian recipes such as pasta dishes and pizza, which are cooked and served throughout the country, each region has its own special dishes as well.

Another factor you may encounter with regards to Italian cooking is that the same classic authentic Italian recipes may have different spellings or altogether different names in different locales. They may have the same main ingredients, cooking methods, presentations, and all. But don’t be too shocked if you encounter basically the same dish but with a different name when you’re in another town, commune, city, or region. Not only that, but even traditional Italian recipes handed down for several generations may vary from family to family, too!

Major Culinary Influences

To begin with, Italian cuisine has its roots way back in the ancient world, particularly in the 4th century BC. On top of that, there were significant influences indelibly left by several ancient civilizations, namely the following:

Etruscan

A civilization in ancient Italy that settled in the areas that are now Tuscany, northern Lazio, and western Umbria. What has been discovered about Etruscan cuisine did not come from ancient cookbooks but on domestic items and decorations discovered in their ancient cities. Based on historical findings, Etruscans were not fond of eating meat. They preferred cheese, garlic, legumes, and onion. They also liked soup. However, historians do believe they raised pigs.

Ancient Greece

An influential ancient civilization in the Mediterranean that played a huge part in the development of many European civilizations. Historians also believe they had a major role in the foundation of the modern Western culture, as we know it today. Its cuisine basically revolved around three major ingredients: wheat, wine, and olive oil. Other common foodstuff you could find in an ancient Greek household were bread, fruits and vegetables, eggs, and dairy products. Meat consumption depended on location and social status. Wild birds and hare were usually hunted in the countryside. In farms, it was usually domesticated fowls such as chickens and geese. Meanwhile, bigger domesticated animals such as pigs, goats, and sheep were common in the cities.

Ancient Rome

A politically powerful world power in ancient world history, it is also heavily influenced by the ancient Greeks. Among the major foodstuff in ancient Roman households were grains, legumes, leafy vegetables, some root crops, herbs, wild mushrooms, citrus and dried fruits, berries and nuts, olive oil, meat and dairy products, seasonings, and sweeteners. Grains were often made into breads and was a common fare for the military and people living in urban areas.

Italian Cuisine Today

Aside from the major influences in the past, another determining factor in authentic Italian recipes is the location. The entire Italian peninsula has quite a diverse landscape and Italian cooking has always been about using good quality and fresh ingredients. So families or households simply use whatever food items that can be easily found in the market, according to location.

In coastal areas, you will often find various kinds of seafood in many of their traditional Italian recipes. For mountainous areas, usual fares will be ones with heavy meat dishes, as well as cured or preserved fish. Pasta ingredients may also have differences, since dried pasta made of semolina is typical in the south while soft fresh pasta made with egg is the usual in the north.

Other characteristics of classic Italian recipes are its simplicity and seasonal ingredients. In fact, many traditional dishes can be considered easy Italian recipes, from their ingredients to their method to their presentation.

Squid Ink Pasta Recipe with Seafood in San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Squid Ink Pasta Recipe with Seafod in San Marzano Sauce

For a unique, colorful presentation to wow your guests and your taste buds, top black squid ink pasta recipe with vibrant homemade San Marzano tomato sauce. Sauteed squid adds protein and texture to this fun, flavorful dish inspired by summertime in Italian coastal towns. Check the pasta aisle of your local grocery store or visit […]

Easy Oven Baked Crispy Pork Chops and Fennel Salad

Oven Baked Crispy Pork Chops

If you’re looking for a fresh way to prepare pork chops, this is it. Despite the title, these pork chops are baked rather than fried, making them perhaps a little healthier than you expected while still retaining a wonderfully crispy crust. The addition of Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh parsley in the breadcrumb mixture adds delicious flavor […]

Spaccatelle Pasta with Tuna, Artichokes, Olives and Capers

Spaccatelle pasta with Tuna Olives Artichokes Capers

For a quick weeknight supper that feels gourmet or an easy dish with which to impress guests, try making spaccatelle with tuna, artichokes, olives, and capers. The variety of textures and flavors in this recipe will surely leave you feeling satisfied. If you have difficulty finding spaccatelle, any type of medium length pasta will do. […]

Traditional Veal Saltimbocca Recipe

Veal saltimbocca. Traditional dish with prosciutto and sage

Jump to the saltimbocca recipe at the bottom of the page What is Veal Saltimbocca? Meaning literally “to jump in mouth,” saltimbocca is an iconic Roman dish traditionally made with veal, prosciutto, and fresh sage leaves in a delicate white wine and butter sauce. With a short ingredient list, traditional veal saltimbocca—also called veal scaloppine […]

Authentic Cavatelli and Broccoli Recipe

Sauteed cavatelli and broccoli is easy to make and perfect for vegetarians.

When you mention pasta, what usually comes to mind for many people is Italian cuisine. As a matter fact, pasta has always been associated with Italy and Italian cooking. To be fair, pasta did originally come from Ancient Rome. Although many historians believe Arabs were the ones who introduced the cultivation of durum wheat centuries ago to […]