If there is something that Italians can boast about, it is their gastronomy and good cuisine. Their fresh pasta is a delight. And their sauces are a blessing for those who enjoy dipping bread. Each region, province and town makes pasta in its own way, with its own ingredients and a lot of tradition. We selected 10 of the most delicious pasta dishes you should try (at least) once in a lifetime.
- FETTUCCINI ALLA PUTTANESCA (NAPLES)
If there is a pasta dish whose name is easy to remember, that is the one of the fettuccini alla puttanesca (or “prostitute style”). Its name comes from prostitutes in Naples, who prepared this recipe between client and client for And they did it with the first thing they found in the pantry, which used to be: garlic, tomatoes, dried chilies, virgin olive oil and brine anchovies.It is also said that this recipe was made in the 50’s in restaurants With names of ‘bad fame’, but this Neapolitan dish is a delight.
- TRENETTE PESTO (GENOVA)
We travel to the northwest of Italy, to the region of Liguria to discover one of the most healthy pasta dishes that exist: the Trenette al Pesto . Its intense green color reveals one of the most famous sauces in Italy: the pesto. In this recipe, trenette, similar to spaghetti, are prepared with basil, garlic, and extra olive oil. It is surprising how such simple ingredients result in such a rich dish. Do not be surprised if the recipe adds beans and cooked potato chips. According to tradition, this gives more flavor and integrity to the dish. It is possible to find this same recipe made with noodles or linguine.
- PANSOTTI ALLA GENOVESE (LIGURIA)
Pansotti is a type of pasta similar to ravioli but much larger. They are typical of the region of Genoa and, unlike ravioli, are not stuffed with meat, but vegetables. As a curiosity, its shape reminds us of a potbellied man. In Genoa, they like a lot of walnuts and wild herbs that grow on the coast of Liguria – like the preboggion . For lovers of cheese, in this dish, you will find the delicious parmesan or prescinseua , well known in the region and with a consistency halfway between yogurt and cottage cheese.
- SPAGHETTI AL RAGU ALLA BOLOGNESE (BOLOGNA)
We could say that spaghetti bolognese is one of the most internationalized Italian dishes with the most variants that exist. Hence it is very difficult to find a place where the traditional recipe is faithfully reproduced, as do the Italians of Bologna. Originally, this dish was cooked without tomato and the meat was cooked in white wine and milk. The origins of this sauce are lost in Ancient Rome and in the Middle Ages. In Bologna, this stew was born at the noble tables of the nobles. Today, the recipe considered official is that of Emilia-Romagna presented in 1982 by a delegation from Bologna in the Chamber of Commerce. It emphasizes using a cut of lean meat called beef or veal pork (never pork) and in making vegetables with bacon.
- VERMICELLI WITH LE VONGOLE (NAPLES)
The Neapolitans love the sea and this is evident in their gastronomy. One of its most traditional dishes is the vermicelli con le vongole or spaghetti with clams, perfect to accompany with a good white wine of the region. It is cooked with a sauce of garlic and virgin olive oil, white wine and clams of the Adriatic Sea. Add a pinch of pepper or peperoncini (a type of Italian chili). And now is the small dispute between the Italians: the tomato. There are those who add it and those who prefer to take it without it (in this case the dish is known as spaghetti all vongole in Bianco ). They say the tomato version is much tastier. You will have to try both to check it out.
- PAPPARDELLE SULLA LEPRE (LA TOSCANA)
In addition to fine wines and film landscapes, Tuscany has pasta dishes that are true delicacies. The one we like most is the Pappardelle sulla leper, a plate of wide ribbons of pasta (similar to noodles) accompanied with hare sauce, very typical of the hunting season. The secret is to marinate the hare in pieces and cook it with Chianti wine. The result is an exquisite dense sauce enriched by the pulp of the hare. It is a strong and very nutritious dish. Prepare the bread because the sauce is to wet and not stop.
- PASTA CON LE SARDE (SICILIA)
Another dish that brings the flavor of the sea to the table is pasta with le sarde alla siciliana. Very typical of the area of Palermo, this recipe combines the taste of fresh sardines with wild fennel. It also has pine nuts, toasted almonds, sultanas (typical of Sicily) and saffron. Sometimes you can add a little anchovy in oil to intensify the flavor. When it comes to choosing fresh pasta, Italians love to prepare the pasta cche sardi (so it is said in Sicilian) with Puccini’s , businesses or macaroni. Before serving, you should remain in the oven for a few minutes. It is a very old dish, its origin dates back to the time of the Arab invasions of Sicily and Malta. Afterward, Romans and Greeks continued perfecting the dish to this day. If we visit the island, we will find several versions. In Catania, for example, they replace the sardines with anchovies.
- BUCATINI ALL’AMATRICIANA (ROME)
If you travel to Rome, you can not leave without asking for a good bucatini all’amatriciana. Originally from Amatrice, in the region of Lazio, this dish is one of the favorites of the Romans. To prepare this recipe we use bucatini, a kind of spaghetti with a hollow hole in its interior. The sauce, known as gricia, is made of guanciale (Italian bacon), chili, olive oil and tomato simmered. If you like the spicy, you will enjoy with the reg still that leaves the chili. In the village of Amatrice, they still prepare the original recipe with spaghetti and without tomato.
- TORTELLI DI ZUCCA (LOMBARDY)
We return to northern Italy, Mantua, where we find a type of stuffed pasta declared as a traditional agri-food product. We speak of the delicious Tortelli di Zucca, considered a symbol of Mantua cuisine and the region of Lombardy, where the tradition of preparing them as a starter for the Christmas Eve dinner is still maintained. The tortellini are stuffed with a mixture of boiled pumpkin, amaretto – some biscuits made with almond paste, mustard, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg. This recipe comes from the Middle Ages and is an explosion of flavors. Spend your time with each bite and you will discover how the sweet mixes with the salty and the spicy of the mustard. It is usually accompanied with melted butter in bread, although in Piacenza they do it with a sauce of porcini mushrooms.
- SPAGHETTI CARBONARA (ROME)
A classic that can not miss in a good Italian table are spaghetti carbonara. Its origin is in Rome and the original recipe is based on eggs, pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, guanciale and black pepper. Although there are cooks and restaurants that prepare it with cream, for Italians it is a big mistake. All a sacrilege for the original recipe. By comparison, it is as if we cast tomato fried to the paella Valenciana. The name of this sauce comes from the coal: in the north of Italy was an indispensable dish in the diet of the miners. It is also said that the visual effect of the sauce on the black pepper is associated with this mineral. And hence his name.