Most popular Italian dishes
More often than not, I find myself dreaming of setting the everyday life aside and eloping off to a luxurious villa in Tuscany to bask in the rich sun-draped views of vine yards with a glass of authentic sweet red wine slowly and crisply going down my throat. Sadly, my alarm clock never wants me to enjoy this lovely dream with its constant rude interruptions. If you share similar sentiments and relationship with your alarm clock then there is no need to worry, you can still have a piece of Italy right where you are.
Italian cuisine is appreciated for its never disappointing delicious taste which always guarantees tongue satisfaction combined with health benefits. With Italian, it is all about quality of ingredients used. This cuisine is versatile, promotes simple cooking with respect to the texture, appearance and flavour of each ingredient.
Here are some of the yummiest Italian dishes you must try. So pick yourself up, get your boot straps on and join me as we experience bona fide eating.
For many centuries, Pizza was considered a peasants meal in Italy. Though we cannot know the exact origin of this delicacy, it doesn’t mean we don’t get to love it. Pizza, which is basically an oven-baked flat round bread covered with cheese, olive oil, tomato sauce and many other toppings, is a dish you can get to enjoy in various places in Nairobi.
Usually made from durum (wheat) semolina flour and water, pasta comes in different shapes and sizes with each shape and size having its own preferred accompaniment and sauce. For instance thinner, lighter sauces such as those made with fresh tomato sauce and less oil go best with thinner and more delicate pastas such as fine spaghetti. Oil based and heavy sauces are best paired with flat pasta like linguine, giving it a fuller flavour.
Being one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy, Risotto is an Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. The broth can be obtained from meat, vegetables or fish and it contains butter, onions and wine. Seafood and mushroom risotto is a popular Venetian specialty. Seasonal dishes such as the summer or spring risotto are a definite must-try during your visit to Italy since they include some added herbs such as the seasonal asparagus for more taste.
This is cornmeal boiled into a porridge. It may be eaten directly or can be baked, fried or grilled. Soft polenta can also be replaced with bread in a meal or served with butter, cheese or shaved truffles instead of the pasta course. Generally, polenta can be served with almost anything- this being the main factor attributing to its spread all throughout Italy.
This is simply Italy’s version of Ice Cream, but this dessert is slightly different from the normal Ice Cream we are used to. For starters, it has less butter fat than Ice Cream and is less solidly frozen therefore melting in the mouth faster than ice cream and is much tastier. Gelato has a richer creamier taste due to its high density which is attributed to the fact that no air is usually added to the dessert. Whether you like nuts, biscuits, fruit or nutella, you will find a gelato in almost any flavour.
This popular coffee-flavoured Italian dessert comes in various sizes and styles. It is usually made up of cake and cream, or cake and cheese. However, the traditional Tiramisu is made up of lady fingers dipped in coffee with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, mascarpone cheese and flavored cocoa.
This is a dish which features small pastas in the form of little cases of dough filled with cheese or meat giving it a savory taste. This dish is usually prepared in boiling water and eaten with a sauce. The most popular raviolis are the ricotta and spinach perfect for vegetarians.
An Italian style dumpling made from potatoes and flour is usually served with a sauce. Gnocchi can also be made from polenta, flour, squash and cheese. It is usually served the same way as pasta, with sauce or some buter and sage or parmesan cheese. It is also tasty when combined with some vegetables such as asparagus, eggplant, or artichokes.
For those who love thin meat slices, prosciutto is a must try dish which is bound to become your favourite. Known to be the finest Italian pork product, this is a delicacy usually tossed in pasta or wrapped around cheese or melon. It is also sometimes served as an appetizer and has become a trendy topping for pizzas.
Simply prepared by creating layers of vegetables, sauce, cheese and sometimes meat, sandwiched between sheets of pasta make for a dish that is as fun to eat as it is to make.
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