The culture and history drenched land of the Italians is marked by their unique cuisine. Italian cuisine is popular all over the world and the hearty dishes awake all the senses and make for a gastronomical delight for food lovers. True Italian cuisine is all about simple dishes that bring out the flavors of their ingredients. Accompany this with some good wine, old cheese and top it off with their famous sweetened fruit and gelato and you would have eaten a meal fit for a king. There are some Italian dishes that should not be missed.
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Bruschetta: A plate of Bruschetta sparkling with fresh tomatoes and olive oil is the best way to start your meal. This appetizer has its origin in Central Italy and dates back to the 15th century. Roasted bread rubbed with garlic and coated with extra-virgin olive oil and spiced with salt and pepper form the base. It is then topped with spicy red peppers, vegetables, bean, tomatoes, cured meat and cheese and then put into the brustolina grill. When served, this amazing appetizer with its roasted flavored base and fresh and savory topping is quite something!
Straciatella: This egg-drop soup also called ‘alla Romana’ is a popular course to follow the starter. It is made with well beaten eggs, parmesan shavings, pepper, salt, nutmeg and at times semolina and then slowly added to a boiling salty broth producing little shreds of cooked egg. The original Italian recipe stops here, making the soup flavored but not heavy as in the other versions of the soup seen outside Europe where cream is also added.
Pizza Margherita: Originating in Neapolitan cuisine, pizza is a popular dish all over the world. The most popular of all the pizzas in Italy is definitely the Pizza Margherita. Italian dishes are all about minimalistic toppings so as to not crowd the flavors of the other ingredients. The base is flaky and soft and oven-baked as a thin crust with a wood-fire flavor. The topping is made of tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil. When you bite into a slice, the flavors of the ingredients will burst in your mouth as you take in the delicate and delectable taste of the dish.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara: Made of eggs, pecorino romano (grating cheese made of sheep’s milk), guanciale (unsmoked bacon from the pig’s jowl or cheeks) and black pepper, this Italian pasta dish is one of the most popular of all spaghetti dishes. Created in the middle of the 20th century it is literally translated as the ‘coal miner’s wife’s spaghetti’. The pork is fried in olive oil or lard and the mixture of cheese, egg and olive oil is blended with the hot pasta which cooks the eggs. A scoop of this is enough to understand why it is so popular. Accompanied with fresh baked crusty bread and red wine, this meal will leave you satisfied in every way.
Saltimbocca: This dish lined with tender veal and topped with sage and prosciutto which is marinated in oil and wine and capers. There is a version of it where the dish is rolled up and cooked in butter and Marsala (a type of wine). The dish has the distinct taste of meat which is accentuated by the accompanying ingredients and is a great main course.
It is easy to go on and on about Italian dishes. But if there are five dishes that are not to be missed, these are them.
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