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.

Traditional Veal Saltimbocca Recipe

Veal Saltimbocca - Saltimbocca alla romana

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 or saltimbocca alla Romana—is remarkably simple to make. Modern variations include […]

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 […]

Authentic Italian Pizza Dough Recipe

The real neapolitan Pizza Margherita

We talk all the time about how great homemade food is, not just because we consider cooking to be a relaxing and satisfying experience, but because it’s so much more budget-friendly than going out and spilling all your money at a fancy restaurant. Plus, it never hurts getting compliments from your friends and family–they’ll be […]

Authentic Pasta Al Pomodoro Recipe

Pasta al pomodoro recipe

A great example of authentic Italian cuisine is pasta in tomato-based sauce. In this article, we shall be looking into a Pasta Al Pomodoro recipe. It is simple to make and only requires basic ingredients. But before we get to the scrumptious part, let us first discuss some basic factoids, shall we? Print Recipe 5 […]

Authentic Italian Sfogliatelle Recipe

Authentic Italian Sfogliatelle recipe

If you have visited the Campania region, then you must have encountered this curious-looking puff pastries called sfogliatelle. And yep, that’s not a typo, no matter how the spellcheck may tell you otherwise. That is really how it’s spelled. As for how you pronounce it, you read it as sfol-ya-tel-le. And what is it exactly? […]

Authentic Italian Struffoli Recipe

Authentic Struffoli Recipe

There’s no denying that Italian cuisine is among the most popular in the world. Many international chefs have certainly mentioned that often enough. And the number of Italian restaurants you can find in every major city is a glaring testimony to that.   But more than all the scrumptious pastas, yummy pizzas, and hearty soups […]

An Easy and Delicious Cioppino Recipe

Cioppino

Considered mainly as an Italian-American variant of the many fish and seafood stews in Italian cuisine, cioppino is also quite a popular dish for the holiday season, especially the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This is probably because you can combine several fish and seafood in the dish, shortening the quota for the number of […]

How to Make Calamari Ripieni?

Calamari Ripieni

Calamari Ripieni is traditional dish is typically from the autonomous island-region of Sicily. There are also some versions of this in Calabria and Puglia. This recipe, however, is the version from Sicily. Calamari ripieni is basically stuffed squid. The filling/stuffing, however, can be made of different ingredients, which usually includes the squid tentacles that are chopped or […]

Authentic Italian Antipasto Salad Recipe

This authentic Italian Antipasto Salad Recipe has more than meets the eye.

Oh, the nerve!! Actually, nervetti. Wait, what? What does that have to do with food? I thought eating good food warms the heart?! Okay, enough with the mystery. Today, we’re going to talk about an authentic Italian antipasto salad recipe also known as insalata di nervetti. But what exactly is that? Veal shank—tendons and cartilage, to be […]

Easy Octopus Salad Recipe

Octopus Salad

One of the main things in Italian cooking is the use of fresh ingredients, and that is the same thing you can expect from Calabrian food. A perfect example of this is Insalata di Polpo, otherwise known as Octopus Salad.   The Healthy Goodness of Octopus A prized seafood in Calabria, as well as in […]

Authentic Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

You will want to try this Authentic Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

Remember that time we spoke about the fascinating history of the wedding soup? You know, how people mistook the dish for…ah, but just go check that article, which works as the perfect companion piece for this one. We’ll be showing you an awesome authentic Italian Wedding soup recipe, since it’s a staple of Italian cuisine […]

Authentic Italian Zeppole Recipe (Zeppole di San Giuseppe)

zeppole di san giuseppe

In the mood for something sweet? Yes, yes, we know we’ve already talked about desserts, from tiramisu to that other tiramisu and cannoli, but since this particular topic is so popular among our readers…yes, we went there again. And we are pretty sure you will be mad that we didn’t bring this authentic Italian zeppole recipe to you sooner–we know this not […]

How to Make Soffritto

Soffritto

  It’s a fact that there have been a surge of health-conscious cooking in the culinary world lately. And with the emergence of so many troubling medical conditions, it’s no wonder that more and more people have become cautious about what they eat. But do you know that in traditional Italian cooking, the use of […]

Risotto with ham

Risotto with Ham

Image Credit: Sebastian Mary, under Creative Commons License One of the distinct features of traditional Italian cooking is the high quality of the ingredients used in every dish. Risotto with ham, particularly prosciutto, is a great example of this. Not only will you get a lovely looking risotto, but also a poignantly flavorful dish with […]