Authentic Italian Recipes

More Info

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.

Risotto with squid ink

Risotto al Nero di Seppia

One of the most quintessential Venetian dishes today, especially in the coastal areas, is Risotto al Nero di Seppia, or simply Risotto with squid ink in English. Influenced by its geography, a third of Venetian dishes have seafood in them. Take Risotto with Crabs for instance. But probably one of the most fascinating dishes from the Venetian coastal […]

Mushroom and Kale Risotto Recipe

Mushroom and Kale Risotto Recipe

Looking for some healthy fare for a dinner party for friends and family? How about you try making this Mushroom and Kale Risotto recipe dish, which would make a perfect primo dish, especially if you have vegetarians among your dinner party guests. Now, why exactly should you serve this risotto dish? Well, not only will […]

Risotto with crab

Miss our risotto recipes? Well, look no further. After our Risotto with English Peas recipe, today, you can check our Risotto con granchio recipe, a.k.a. Risotto with crab. Why this shellfish is good for you? It is common knowledge that most seafood is considered healthier fare compared to any kind of red meat. And crab […]

How to make Gnocchi

Among the most popular food that people associate with Italian cuisine, and sort of a staple in most Italian restaurants in the United States, are gnocchi [nyoh-ki]. These tiny dough dumplings most typically are made of semolina, parmesan cheese, flour, eggs, salt, and potatoes. But before we proceed right to how to make gnocchi, here’s […]

Authentic Italian Rum Cake Recipe

Aithentic Italian Rum cake recipe

You want to impress your dinner guests with your amazing baking skills? Well then, how about you prepare any of these two delectable desserts: Baba Rum or Savarin cake. How get your hands on an authentic Italian rum cake recipe? Well, read on and find out. Trust us, you will surely impress anyone at your […]

DIY Garlic Butter

If you love garlic, this simple recipe is a must-have for your collection. It keeps in the fridge for several weeks, or even longer in the freezer–if there’s any left to save! Setting the butter out to soften will make it easier to mix with the other ingredients, and although you can use the garlic […]

DIY Garlic Seasoning

garlic seasoning

This versatile, garlicky seasoning is so easy to make and equally simple to use! Just measure all of the ingredients into a jar and shake it up, and you have a perfect all-purpose Italian seasoning. If you have a shaker with large holes like you might use for Parmesan or red pepper flakes, this is […]

Easy Chicken Marsala Recipe

Chicken marsala recipe

How to Make Chicken Marsala Often served as a secondo, most Italian restaurants in the U.S. that serve this dish have their own versions of original recipe, tweaking it a little bit here and there to leave their own place’s signature. This is not such an uncommon practice in the culinary world. However, there is […]

Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce Recipe

You need to try this authentic Italian tomato sauce recipe.

What’s the first thing on your mind when you think about Italian food? Cookies? Spaghetti? Wedding soup? Oh, come on! It’s pizza, right? It has to be. I’ll shamelessly admit that for me, pizza is love. Sadly, however, it’s incredibly hard to find a restaurant which serves THAT pizza which reminds you of your childhood. The dough […]

How to Make Lasagna The Traditional Way

How to Make Lasagna? As mentioned above, the classic lasagna recipe may not have tomatoes in it, but it does have various cheeses. However, for this traditional recipe, we will only be using Parmigiano Reggiano. Now that’s settled, let’s proceed on how to make lasagna step by step. Print Recipe 5 from 2 votes Authentic […]

Authentic Italian Bread Recipe

This authentic Italian bread recipe will make you think twice before buying one.

When I think of food, I don’t usually think of how food smells. I’ve never been the type to enter a kitchen and go, “Oh my God, am I smelling cannoli?” However, there was a specific scent that I would always recognize and love: fresh bread. We’ve talked about this in regards to the Focaccia […]

Authentic Italian Butter Cookies Recipe

This authentic Italian butter cookies recipe is a delight.

Don’t you love those tins filled with butter cookies? You buy them with the excuse of giving them to a beloved one, only to end up eating them yourself. And we don’t blame you. They are perfect either as standalone cookies or cookies to dip in your favorite tea. Soft on the inside and crispy […]

What is Pizzoccheri? ( Traditional Italian Buckwheat Pasta Recipe)

pizzoccheri alla valtellina

The world of Italian pasta has its superstars (e.g., spaghetti, linguine, etc.), but there are several other intriguing pastas that remain somewhat under the radar, and pizzoccheri would definitely fall into this category. Contrary to its somewhat misleading name, pizzoccheri doesn’t have anything to do with pizza; instead, it’s a flat, ribbon pasta comprised primarily […]

Pistachio Tiramisu Recipe

Pistachio Tiramisu Recipe is a delicious choice.

Well, that didn’t take us long. We spoke a while back about the best authentic Italian Tiramisu recipe –and we lied. Sort of. While  The first one had the zabaione surprise, while this this one is a bit more uncommon–it’s a pistachio tiramisu recipe! And why not? It’s green! It’s even festive, we might add, thus […]

20 of The Best Regional Holiday Recipes from Italy

20 regional holiday recipes from Italy

The holidays are here and we couldn’t be hungrier for some traditional, festive Italian holiday dishes. Rather than just any Italian dishes, we’ve rounded up popular holiday recipes from each of Italy’s regions. 1. Cotechino e Lenticchie from Emilia Romagna Enjoy lentils and cotechino sausage around the Holidays. Follow this simple recipe, but give yourself […]

Authentic Italian Christmas Cookie Recipes

Authentic Italian Christmas Cookie Recipes are the best.

‘Tis the season to be jolly! It’s Christmas time. We are finalizing our shopping list, thinking about everyone who deserves presents…or not. We make plans on how to spend the holiday and with whom. And, most importantly, we think about what to put on the table. While we would never refuse a bowl of pasta, maaaaaybe we […]