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.

Risotto with Garlic

Print Recipe 0 from 0 votes Risotto with Garlic Servings: 4 Author: NonnaBox Ingredients320 g rice1 onion4 cloves garlic1 cup white wine1 carton meat and vegetable brothExtra virgin olive oilParmesan cheese to taste InstructionsIn a pan, saute the coarsely chopped onion with a little oil. Add the rice and deglaze with white wine. Add the […]

Risotto with Kale Pesto

Print Recipe 0 from 0 votes Risotto with Kale Pesto Servings: 4 Author: NonnaBox Ingredients200 grams of white cabbage60 ml of extra virgin olive oil50 grams of almonds peeled50 grams of walnuts2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese grated1 tablespoon of Romano cheese grated350 grams of Carnaroli rice50 grams of shallot2 teaspoons of mustard seeds1.7 liters of […]

Baked Risotto with Kale

Print Recipe 5 from 1 vote Baked Risotto with Kale Servings: 4 Author: NonnaBox Ingredients½ cup walnuts coarsely chopped4 tablespoons olive oil1 medium onion finely chopped1 cup arborio riceKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper½ cup dry white wine1 small garlic clove1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives2 cups torn Tuscan kale […]

Risotto with Milk

Print Recipe 0 from 0 votes Risotto with Milk Servings: 4 Author: NonnaBox Ingredients350 gr grain rice80 g butter1.75 liters of milkSalt InstructionsPut the milk in a pot and add a pinch of salt, then bring to a boil over medium heat, and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. When the milk is boiling, add […]

Risotto with Onions

Print Recipe 5 from 1 vote Risotto with Onions Servings: 4 Author: NonnaBox Ingredients350 g arborio rice2 white onions1 red onion1 liter of vegetable broth50 g grated Parmesan cheese40 g butterWhite wine to tasteSalt to taste InstructionsPeel the onions and chop finely, then pour into a pan to fry with 20 g of butter. When […]

Risotto with Oats

Print Recipe 0 from 0 votes Risotto with Oats Author: NonnaBox Ingredients½ cup of oatmeal½ cup of rice2 cups water1 cup skim milk1 tablespoon butter½ cup finely chopped tomatoes½ cup chopped zucchini½ cup chopped cauliflower½ cup grated low-fat cheese½ teaspoon pepperSalt to taste InstructionsCombine water, oats, white rice and vegetables in a pot and cover. […]

Risotto with Parmesan

Print Recipe 0 from 0 votes Risotto with Parmesan Servings: 2 Author: NonnaBox Ingredients1 liter of vegetable broth1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil1 shallot160 g of rice50 ml dry white wine40 g of grated Parmesan cheeseParmesan cheese shavings to garnishBalsamic vinegar InstructionsBring the vegetable broth to a boil. In another pot, fry the finely chopped […]

Risotto with mushrooms and peas

Print Recipe 0 from 0 votes Risotto with mushrooms and peas Author: NonnaBox Ingredients300 grams rice300 grams mushrooms200 grams fresh or frozen shelled peas1 clove finely chopped garliconiondry white wine1 bunch parsley1 carton vegetable brothextra virgin olive oilsaltpeppergrated Parmesan cheese InstructionsFry the finely chopped garlic in a pan. Add the mushrooms and peas, cooking for […]

Risotto with Grilled Shrimp

Add another risotto recipe to your repertoire with this easy-to-make risotto with grilled shrimp version! Print Recipe 5 from 1 vote Risotto with Grilled Shrimp Servings: 4 Author: Nonna Box Ingredients1 pound large shrimp cleaned and peeled1 teaspoon lemon zest¼ teaspoon red chili flake4 cups shrimp stock*2 tablespoons olive oil divided½ cup white onion diced2 […]

Risotto with dried mushrooms

Keen to try your hand at making risotto? Here’s an easy-to-prepare and authentically Italian risotto recipe made with fragrant and flavorful porcini mushrooms. Print Recipe 0 from 0 votes Risotto with dried mushrooms Servings: 4 Author: NonnaBox Ingredients1 liter vegetable broth150 g dried porcini mushrooms30 g butter1 onion3 sprigs of parsley400 g rice30 g grated […]

Focaccia Pugliese

Which ingredients do you like in your bread? In Focaccia Pugliese, you get not only the dimpled airy bread, but also fresh cherry tomatoes and the lovely aroma of oregano.   What is Focaccia? Focaccia is a type of Italian bread that uses the same dough as pizzas. But unlike pizza, it is topped only […]

Risotto alla milanese con ossobuchi

Risotto alla milanese con ossobuchi

A wonderful fusion of two of Lombardy’s savory traditional dishes, Risotto alla milanese con ossobuchi is something your palate should definitely try. After all, nothing says Milanese soul food like this hearty plate of saffron-tinged risotto topped with ossobuchi, or cross-cut veal shanks. One of the key ingredients is, of course, a flavor-absorbing rice called carnaroli, which we […]

Authentic Italian Tiramisu Recipe: The Dessert That Will Be Gone In 3-2-1

An authentic Italian Tiramisu recipe with biscoff.

  Print Recipe 5 from 6 votes Authentic Italian Tiramisu Recipe Tiramisu is one of the most famous Italian desserts around the world. Learn the secrets of making tiramisu at home. Prep Time30 minsCook Time5 hrsTotal Time5 hrs 30 mins Course: DessertCuisine: ItalianKeyword: dolce, tiramisu Servings: 12 Calories: 409kcal Author: Nonna Box IngredientsFor the coffee […]

Peperoni alla Leccese

Compared to other Italian regions, the concept of cucina povera is most obvious in Puglia. Its cuisine is as rustic as it can get. Indeed, the region is a big player in agriculture, with farmlands going back hundreds of years. So it’s no wonder local cuisine often use fresh ingredients from the land. A perfect […]

Penne alla Calabrese

penne alla calabrese

In Calabria, maccaruni d’a zita was always served at wedding luncheons. Today, this pasta is more popularly called penne Zita, which can be used for this Penne alla Calabrese recipe. The differences between regular penne and penne Zita is that the latter has a smoother surface and is slightly bigger in diameter. According to tradition, […]

Grilled Prawns

Seafood dishes have always been a big part of Italian cuisine, especially in the coastal areas. And one delectable seafood dish that you simply shouldn’t miss are these seared crustaceans, a.k.a. Grilled Prawns. Easy Grilled Prawns Recipe The secret to this recipe are the garlic, pepper, and other Italian spices, as well as the marinade. […]

Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Ever heard this quote? “Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is.” Well, that is exactly what you’d think about this Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb cake. Only the cake is buttermilk-flavored, the chocolate are in the form of delicious chips, and the topping is a delectably rich streusel.   What is Streusel? The term […]