Irresistible Italian dishes

For Italians, food is an expression of love and a way of life. This is probably one of the main reasons why they are so careful and diligent while preparing lip-smacking delicacies. Each region of the country has its own range of gastronomic specialties.

For instance, south Italians cook in olive oil and hardly use butter in their dishes. On the other hand, rice and polenta are two of the favorite items of north Italians. A tour to Italy trip is incomplete if you do not try out a traditional five-course Italian meal. A typical Italian meal generally consists of:

1. The antipasto – This comes before the main meal. It usually comprises pasta and/or local cold outs.

2. The Primo or the first course – This generally includes soup, pasta, rice or polenta. People can also have certain other dishes in the first course.

Minestrone by jules

3. The second course – This is the main course of an Italian meal. Generally, small portions of fish, meat or chicken are served during this course.

4. The side dishes (Contorni) – The main course is accompanied by a side dish which could be a vegetable preparation, a salad or a potato dish.

5. Dessert (Dolce) – An Italian meal is never complete without a dessert. The dessert can comprise of fruits, delicious cakes or pastries. Another indispensable part of an Italian meal is a cup of coffee or espresso. Italians usually take wine with their meals.

Tiramisu by Alexis Fam

While on a tour to Italy, you should make it a point to try out the following:


There are different types of pastas available in Italy. They vary on the basis of their ingredients, the way in which they are produced and their precise cuts and shapes. Pastas can be short or long, and plain or stuffed.

Various kinds of sauces are used for the preparation of pasta dishes. The different pastas you can delight your taste buds with are:

  1. Sacchette
  2. Soup pasta
  3. Spaghetti
  4. Fusilli
  5. Tortellini

Spaghetti by Julius for Travel via Italy (one of my best food related pictures I took so far)

Parmesan cheese

Italy boasts of different kinds of cheese, which are produced in various locations in the nation. The cheese available here is basically of 3 types – hard cheese, semi-hard cheese and soft cheese.

Cheese is an all time favorite of Italians and they use it in almost every type of culinary preparations. If you love cheese, you would surely be bowled over by these Italian varieties. Here are a few cheeses which you should definitely try out:

  1. Mozzarella
  2. Ricotta
  3. Provolone
  4. Pecorino
  5. Asiago

Parmigiano Reggiano - the store room
Parmigiano Reggiano – the store room by Zerohund


It is a rich dish, in which rice is cooked in a broth to a creamy form. The broth can be fish-based or meat-based. Butter, cheese and onion are generally used as the chief ingredients of risottos. Some of the popular and mouth-watering Italian risottos are:

  1. Gourmet mushroom risotto
  2. Slow cooker risotto
  3. Butternut squash risotto
  4. Risotto a-la Milanese
  5. Emerald green risotto

Risotto by paPisc


A visit to Italy without having pizzas can hardly be termed complete. There are basically 2 types of pizza available in the country. One has a thick base, while the other has a thinner crust.

Italians also distinguish pizza into red (having tomato sauce) and white (without tomato sauce but topped with other ingredients) varieties. Pizzas can have different kinds of toppings. Some of the popular Italian pizza types that you will love are:

  1. Pizza marinara
  2. Pizza margherita
  3. Pizza romana
  4. Pizza pugliese
  5. Pizza siciliana

Pizza, Sicily, Italy
Pizza in Sicily, Italy / Photo by Julius

Alica Hodkins is an avid traveler and an expert on gastronomic topics. She also writes regularly on the web, on the typical specialty dishes of different geographical locations, also for – Tuscan restaurant in Dublin.

If you are planning your next trip to Italy book hotels, flights, rental cars at best price guaranteed!

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