Italy has a great gastronomic tradition, with regional recipes that often vary from town to town, if not even from family to family.
But what are the 30 dishes that every Italian or Italian food lover should know how to cook, in order to claim that they really know Italian cuisine?
This very question was recently put forward by Business Insider, and answered by chef Giancarlo Perbellini, the chef at two Michelin starred Casa Perbellini, in Verona.
Below find all the Italian dishes that everyone should know according to chef Giancarlo Perbellini.
Eggs are an essential ingredient in many traditional regional dishes. Their versatility and practicality are essential to the success of the frittata, which is often combined with cheese and vegetables, or can serve as a "leftovers dish", combined with spaghetti or other leftover ingredients from the day before.
2. Fried Egg (uovo all'occhio di bue)
If it's not omelette, it's an easily executed fried egg, another great classic of Italian home cooking and able to satisfy most tastes. Fried eggs can be combined with different ingredients depending on the season, from caviar to asparagus.
Whether thick crust or thin, Neapolitan, Roman or contemporary, white or red, pizza is one of the symbols of "Made in Italy". And everyone, at home, sooner or later has a go at making them!
Here's how to make the perfect pizza.
4. Vitello Tonnato
Vitello tonnato is always a popular dish: a great classic of Piedmontese cuisine - a must try in the Langhe region - and one that has also made the rounds of the entire country. The cold appetizer was very popular in the Eighties, but remains a dish that everyone tastes or cooks sooner or later, and usually keeps everyone happy!
5.Parmigiana di Melanzane
Deconstructed, traditional, prepared properly, with fried aubergines, or in the "lighter" version with grilled aubergines or, as Perbellini suggests, steamed.- aubergine parmigiana remains a must, a dish to win over everyone seated around the table, including vegetarians.
Here's how, check out the recipe.
Arancine or arancini? The hot debate bubbles away in Sicily: if the masculine version is preferred in the eastern part of the island, in the eastern area the feminin is a must. Whether deemed "masculo" or "fimmina", the mythical ball of stuffed rice (of meat and peas or, in the white version, of prosicutto and béchamel) is another essential recipe.
Try out our best recipe.
These tasty shellfish are a typical Neapolitan dish and easily win over most diners.
8. Spaghetti al pomodoro
One of the symbols of "Made in Italy", as well as a litmus test for all chefs: spaghetti al pomodoro is a simple and genuine dish that instantly transports Italians back to their homeland. Never underestimate the preparation of the sauce to and the impeccable cooking of the pasta which determines the dishes success.
9. Pasta and Beans
Enjoyed the next day, it's even better. Pasta and beans is a dish of peasant origin that characterizes all regions of Italy, with different variations depending on the area. Dense and tasty, it 's an essential winter soup!.
10. Risotto alla milanese
Originating in the city of Milan, risotto Milanese has already done the rounds around the world. The saffron-scented Milanese-style risotto, has become a classic of Italian cuisine, with famous interpretations by Italian chefs, from Gualtiero Marchesi with his Riso, Oro and Zafferano, to those of Davide Oldani, with his Zafferano and Riso alla Milanese D'O.
There are many versions of the classic vegetable and legume soup. Minestrone is a dish that lends itself well to following the seasonality of the products: everyone can prepare it as they see fit. Among the most famous regional versions, as Perbellini reminds us, is the Tuscan ribollita, based on black cabbage.
There is no rival to lasagne. Greens, with spinach or pesto, white with vegetables, with fish or traditional - the classic Bolognese lasagna with ragù: however, the main ingredients are another great symbol of Italian style at the table.
Here's the best recipe!
13. Tagliatelle al ragu
Speaking of ragù, how could we not mention tagliatelle al ragù? The most classic version of this tasty dish is usually prepared with egg pasta, topped with a ragù made of a combination of beef, veal and pork.
15. Garlic Pasta, oil and chilli pepper
The classic survival dish: for when the refrigerator is empty, at any time, a nice plate of pasta with garlic, oil and chilli represents a simple meal solution ... even at the last moment.
This fresh pasta is made with a potato dough in the classic version, goes well with many condiments: from meat ragù to fish, from butter and sage to the Campania variant, with tomato and fiordilatte, "alla sorrentina". Wherever you are, you can't miss gnocchi off your menu.
Also in this case, this is a typical recipe of regional cuisine that has toured Italy from its home in Rome .. and ... of the world. The carbonara, a symphony punctuated by eggs, guanciale, pepper and pecorino, now represents a cult dish of our gastronomic culture. The difficulty in its preparation, as Perbellini recalls, and being able to keep the egg creamy!
How to make carbonara.
18. Cotoletta alla milanese
The cutlet, or rather the Milanese-style veal cutlet, is another well-loved speciality that is now widespread throughout the country. It should be at least 3 cm high, with the bone, and fried in clarified butter to ensure the breading is crisp and well attached to the meat.
Grandma's meatballs are a must in all Italian families. Meatballs are a delicious dish that can be recreated in many variations, from vegetarian to fish-based. They are also a great way of using up leftovers, like boiled meat.
Another great classic of the winter season: stew (which is usually prepared with cheaper cuts of beef, but also with other types of meat, depending on the area). It can be paired with tomato sauce, potatoes, peas ... to warm up hungry bellies during the coldest months.
In every Italian region, you'll find a version of the "fritto". Along the coast we have the fish version, with the frying of paranza or, more simply, the frying of calamari, in the inland areas we have versions of Italian-style mixed fry with meat, fruit and vegetables. For example in Piedmont we use entrails and sweet elements, such as apples and macaroons, in Marche we immediately think of Ascoli olives, while in Campania the fritto food also included mozzarella in carozza, croquettes and panzerotti.
The aromatic slices of floured veal, browned and sprinkled with lemon or white wine, are a great classic. The scallops can be cooked in many ways, from mushrooms to pizzaiola. The result never changes: it's always a guaranteed success!
23. Baccala, cod, stockfish
It can be served in cream, but also in soup or as a second course. However, this fish is widespread in many recipes of regional cuisines. The name changes cod, cod or stockfish, depending on the seasoning or drying:
The quintessential Milanese dish. Ossobuco, generally made of beef, has a tasty and tender meat, which is usually subjected to very long cooking. It can be served, as usual, with a gremolada (a mix of parsley, garlic and lemon), or with diced vegetables.
Another great classic, the pudding is a spoon dessert that satisfies and entices everyone. The most popular flavors are chocolate and vanilla, of course.
One of the most famous and widespread desserts in the world, which has always been the subject of reinterpretations and creative interpretations by pastry chefs. Impossible to resist that harmonious fusion of coffee, mascarpone, eggs and ladyfingers.
27. Panna Cotta
In the "spoon desserts" department, panna cotta is never far from the menu in Italy. A dessert that, as Perbellini recalls, was brought to the fore by the Piedmontese restaurant Guido da Costigliole.
Fritelle are synonymous with home for many Italians and can be declined in many ways, depending on the family recipe or, more simply, on the one you have at home: with apples, raisins, prunes ...
The zabaglione, made with egg yolks, sugar and liqueur wine, is a must on most Italian dessert menus.
30. APPLE CAKE
The ultimate dish and most classic. Simple, versatile, genuine, apple pie can be prepared in many ways: with puff pastry, shortcrust pastry, or with a dough made from flour, sugar and eggs.