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.

Spaghetti alle Vongole Recipe

Seafood pasta with clams Spaghetti alle Vongole on white wooden background

What in the world is Spaghetti alle Vongole? It turns out, it is a delicious pasta dish made with clams, and it is a part of traditional Neapolitan cuisine. There are loads of Neapolitan dishes that are based around fresh seafood, but some stand out amongst the others. Spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams) is […]

Eggplant and Herb Lasagna

Eggplant Lasagna recipe with herb

Earthy, Full of Flavor, and filling. This vegetarian dinner is packed with flavor and loaded with nutrients, and the best part is it’s delicious. I love lasagna. I always have and I always will. However, that lasagna I typically love is loaded with meat. Today I decided to a try a vegetarian version. Don’t worry though; […]

Penne alla Vodka

penne alla vodka recipe

One of the most popular Italian dishes of the 1980s is coming back with a vengeance. Popular at all times of the year, it is especially enjoyed in the Winter; the rich creaminess warms you up, and the bright tomato flavors help you think of Spring. Although it is a fairly simple dish, Penne alla […]

How to Make Italian Lemon Semifreddo Recipe

a perfect Lemon Semifreddo whipped with heavy cream

Lemon semifreddo is one of the lightest, most refreshing desserts out there. Its delicate texture and robust flavor is one that cannot be matched! While it may seem like making such a perfect dessert would be challenging, it is in fact, quite simple as long as you follow the directions carefully. This recipe will enable […]

Easy Eggplant Parmigiana Casserole Recipe

easy parmigiana recipe casserole

Eggplant parmigiana is a classic dish that almost everyone has tried once or twice. It is a delicious, meat-free dinner option with a long history rooted in Italian culture. While you may think that eggplant parmigiana seems like a complicated dish, but it is quite simple. We’ll share with you a beautiful, easy and very […]

Mushroom Lasagna Recipe – A Vegetable Lasagna

mushroom lasagna recipe

Lasagna and pizza are probably the most famous Italian imports, but are usually not translated authentically.Just as there is no pepperoni on pizza in Italy, there is no ricotta cheese in lasagna either. The entire city of Bologna would riot if you brought them a lasagna with ricotta in it. They take their pastas extremely seriously and […]