Hello everyone let’s take a quick foodie tour of Italy! Italy is a beautiful, history-rich country known for its art, fashion, football team, and most importantly, its food! In this brief food tour of Italy, indulge your inner foodie as we introduce you to five must-try tasty meals you have to eat during your next visit.
Ischia, Italy, is a European island known for luxury and leisure. This gem of an island has beautiful beaches, a slow laid back island lifestyle, and rich gastronomy. One dish in particular that this island is famous for is Coniglio all’Ischitana, a delicate, savory rabbit stew. Typically rabbit is delicately seared in olive oil to begin the flavor-building process. It is then slow-cooked until tender in a broth of vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili pepper, salt, assorted herbs, and white wine. Sound tasty? The result is a succulently tender and aromatic delicacy that is a must-try when visiting Ischia.
Gnocchi! Just the word alone leaves some people salivating. But what is it? Light and fluffy dumplings are a good way to describe them. Potato gnocchi (everyone’s favorite) hails from Northern Italy, which has a climate very suitable for growing the starchy tuber. Gnocchi is also very popular in the city of Verona due to its prominent role in the Veronese Carnival. Gnocchi are simple to make and delicious to eat! A basic recipe consists of potatoes, flour, salt, and a few eggs. It makes a great side dish tossed in your favorite Italian pasta sauce.
Pesto alla Genovese
Another food (or rather, sauce) to try during your next visit to Italy is an authentic pesto alla Genovese. Pesto has become super popular on menus over the years. But did you know that this basil-infused savory paste is centuries-old and originated in the city of Genoa? Yep, and when visiting Genoa and the coastal region of Liguria it is a must-try. Seven simple ingredients make up a classic pesto. Fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, salt, and pepper. All the ingredients are transformed into a flavorful paste that pairs well with steak, soup, and, naturally, pasta! It also makes an excellent side sauce for certain types of charcuterie boards.
Who doesn’t love a good pizza? Pizza may be popular worldwide, but the cheesy flatbread version we eat today calls Naples, Italy, its birthplace. Traditional pizzas from Naples have a hand-stretched, thin center, yet fluffy crust cooked in a wood-fired oven. Margherita pizza was the first pizza ever made and has become well-known throughout the world. This classic consists of a sauce made from local vine ripe tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala (buffalo milk mozzarella), torn basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. This is the must-try pizza when in Naples. Of course, the more adventurous can add assorted toppings such as artichoke hearts, mushrooms, spicy salami, prosciutto, and arugula. Let your pizza feast begin!
Risotto alla Milanese
This is a traditional rice dish from Milan, Italy. Rumor has it; it originated in the 1500s when a glassmaker made a rice dish colored with saffron as a joke. But in reality, there was no historical record of this dish prior to the 1800s. The first recipe to resemble it appeared in 1809, and it wasn’t until 1929 that the Milanese chef Felice Luraschi gave it its name.
Risotto is made by sauteing onion in butter for a few minutes to start the process then the rice is added to lightly toast it. White wine is next and left to cook until it evaporates completely. Beef stock is then added in several steps. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is lastly added to finish this succulent dish. Classicly risotto is served with braised veal making for a hearty meal fit for a king!