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.

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? | Italian Stuffed Calamari Recipe

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 […]

Easy Capitone Fritto Recipe

Capitone Fritto

Considered a staple for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, especially for Napoletanos, Capitone Fritto is not just any fried fish. It’s a traditional dish steeped in history and tradition. It even has a somewhat shocking story about it. According to custom, it is best that you buy live eels and kill them right when […]

Creamy Risotto with Edamame

Risotto with edamame

Find yourself with some lovely green edamame and don’t exactly know what to do with them? Well, how about making a bowl, or two, of creamy risotto with edamame then? But before we get right down to business, let us first find out what edamame is all about.   What is Edamame? Nope, it’s not […]

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 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

Risotto with crab recipe

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 […]

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

garlic bread 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 […]