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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   Italy   >   Recipes

   
 

Italian Recipes


Italian cuisine is respected, loved, and eaten all over the world. Outside of Italy, the best-known dishes include pizza and pasta, but Italian food has much else to offer too, including excellent meat and seafood dishes, superb cheeses, and a wonderful range of desserts.

Italian pasta


As far as pasta is concerned there are many times. The most popular type is spaghetti, which is long thing strings of pasta (spaghetti actually means "thin strings"). Other popular types include vermicelli (also string-like), fettucine and linguine (ribbon-shaped), lasagna (large sheets), rotelle and farfalle (decorative shapes), and, ravioli and tortellini (stuffed pasta). Although all forms of pasta are made from basically the same ingredients, the different shapes do affect the taste and choice of recipe, because each individual shape interacts with sauce in a different way.

Spaghetti cooked and served with tomato sauce

Italy is a country of great regional contrasts, and this fact is reflected in its food. Additionally, many outside influences have contributed to Italian cuisine (although the legend that Marco Polo introduced pasta from China does appear to be apocryphyl).

Some of the region dishes and ingredients that you may encounter in Italian food include:
  • Sardinia is famous for its lamb and pecorino (cheese made from sheep's milk).

  • Arab influence played an important part in the development of Sicilian cuisine, including the introduction of lemon and pistachio. Sicily is also known for its seafood, particularly swordfish and tuna, but it is in desserts where the island has had the greatest influence of all: both gelato (ice cream) and granita (a delicious semi-frozen dessert made using sugar, water and flavorings) originate from Sicily.

  • Calabria (the region corresponding to the "toe" of Italy) is known for its spicy version of salami.

  • Naples is the home of mozzarella, pizza and sfogliatelle (Italian filled pastries).

    Italian food - Authentic Neapolitan pizza served in Naples

  • Whereas Sicilian and Neopolitan pizzas are quite thick, Roman pizzas extremely thin. Rome is also known for its use of offal and pecorino (cheese made from sheep's milk).

  • Tuscany is known for its meat, white beans and unsalted bread.

  • Products from the North of Italy include balsamic vinegar, lasagna, mortadella (a heat-cured pork sausage, served as a cold cut) parmigiano (parmesan cheese) polenta (a dish made from boiled corn-meal), prosciutto (dry cured ham), ragu (bolognese sauce), rice and tortellini (stuffed pasta). Piedmont and Lombardy both produce their own distinctive (and different from each other) variety of rice, and both forms are used to make risotto.
Here are some recipe books and cookbooks for Italian food:


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Books about Italian Cooking and Recipes


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Cooking with Nonna: Celebrate Food & Family With Over 100 Classic Recipes from Italian Grandmothers

By Rossella Rago

RACE POINT
Hardcover (248 pages)

Cooking with Nonna: Celebrate Food & Family With Over 100 Classic Recipes from Italian Grandmothers
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  • RACE POINT
Product Description:

Learn to cook classic Italian recipes like a native with the long-awaited debut cookbook from Rossella Rago, creator of the popular web TV series Cooking with Nonna!

For Rossella Rago, creator and host of Cooking with Nonna TV, Italian cooking was never just about the amazing food or Sunday dinner; it was also about family, community, and tradition. Rossella grew up cooking with her Nonna Romana every Sunday and on holidays, learning the traditional recipes of the Italian region of Puglia, like focaccia, braciole, zucchine alla poverella, and pizza rustica.

In her popular web TV series, Rossella invites Italian-American grandmothers (the unsung heroes of the culinary world) to cook with her, learning the classic dishes and flavors of each region of Italy and sharing them with eager fans all over the world. Now you can take a culinary journey through Italy with Rossella and her debut cookbook, Cooking with Nonna, featuring over 100 classic Italian recipes, along with advice and stories from 25 beloved Italian grandmothers.

With easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and mouthwatering photos, Cooking with Nonna covers appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, meats, breads, cookies, and desserts, and features favorite recipes including: 

  • Sicilian Rice Balls
  • Fried Calamari
  • Stuffed Artichokes
  • Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe
  • Veal Stew in a Polenta Bowl
  • Struffoli
  • Ricotta Cookies
  • Homemade Pasta
  • Handcrafted Spaghetti with Meatballs
  • Four-Cheer Lasagna

If you are ready to bring back Sunday dinner and learn how to make Italian food just like nonna, then look no further!

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

By Marcella Hazan

Alfred A Knopf
Released: 1992-10-27
Green Hardcover (704 pages)

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
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  • one volume Marcella Hazan's classic Italian cooking
Product Description:
The most important, consulted, and enjoyed Italian cookbook of all time, from the woman who introduced Americans to a whole new world of Italian food. 

Essentials of Italian Cooking is a culinary bible for anyone looking to master the art of Italian cooking, bringing together Marcella Hazan’s most beloved books, The Classic Italian Cook Book and More Classic Italian Cooking, in a single volume, updated and expanded with new entries and 50 new recipes. Designed as a basic manual for cooks of all levels of expertise—from beginners to accomplished professionals—it offers both an accessible and comprehensive guide to techniques and ingredients and a collection of the most delicious recipes from the Italian repertoire. As home cooks who have used Marcella’s classic books for years (and whose copies are now splattered and worn) know, there is no one more gifted at teaching us just what we need to know about the taste and texture of a dish and how to achieve it, and there is no one more passionate and inspiring about authentic Italian food.

La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

By The Italian Academy of Cuisine

Rizzoli
Released: 2009-10-20
Hardcover (928 pages)

La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
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Product Description:
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook

By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich

Alfred a Knopf Inc
Released: 2015-10-27
Hardcover (480 pages)

Lidia s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook
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  • Alfred a Knopf Inc
Product Description:

From the Emmy-winning host of Lidia’s Kitchen, best-selling author, and beloved ambassador for Italian culinary traditions in America comes the ultimate master class: a beautifully produced definitive guide to Italian cooking, coauthored with her daughter, Tanya—covering everything from ingredients to techniques to tools, plus more than 400 delectable recipes.

Teaching has always been Lidia’s passion, and in this magnificent book she gives us the full benefit of that passion and of her deep, comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create delicious Italian meals. With this book, readers will learn all the techniques needed to master Italian cooking. Lidia introduces us to the full range of standard ingredients—meats and fish, vegetables and fruits, grains, spices and condiments—and how to buy, store, clean, and cook with them. The 400 recipes run the full gamut from classics like risotto alla milanese and Tagliatelle with Mushroom Sauce to Lidia’s always-satisfying originals like Bread and Prune Gnocchi and Beet Ravioli in Poppy Seed Sauce. She gives us a comprehensive guide to the tools every kitchen should have to produce the best results. And she has even included a glossary of cuisine-related words and phrases that will prove indispensable for cooking, as well as for traveling and dining in Italy. There is no other book like this; it is the one book on Italian cuisine that every cook will need.

Rao's Cookbook: Over 100 Years of Italian Home Cooking

By Frank Pellegrino

Random House NY
Released: 1998-04-07
Multicolor Hardcover (182 pages)

Rao s Cookbook: Over 100 Years of Italian Home Cooking
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  • Random House NY
Product Description:
Rao's, the hundred-year-old restaurant with a mere ten tables tucked in a corner of East Harlem in what was once a  legendary Italian
neighborhood, is one of the most sought-after restaurants in all of Manhattan. Its tables are booked months
in advance by regulars who go to enjoy what The New York Times calls its "exquisitely simple Italian cooking" from traditional recipes,
many as old as Rao's itself. You may not get a table at Rao's, but now with this book you can prepare the best Italian home-style food in the
world in your own kitchen. Here for the first time are recipes for all of Rao's fabulous classics--its famous marinara sauce, seafood salad,
roasted peppers with pine nuts and raisins, baked clams, lemon chicken, chicken scarpariello, and on and on.
The recipes are accompanied by photographs that re-create Rao's magic and testimonials from loyal Rao's fans--
from Woody Allen to Beverly Sills. Here too is a brief history of the restaurant by Nicholas Pileggi and a Preface by Dick Schaap.
Both will convince you that what you have in your hands is a national treasure, a piece of history, and a collection of the best Italian
American recipes you will ever find.

Cooking with Italian Grandmothers: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany to Sicily

By Jessica Theroux

Welcome Books
Released: 2010-09-28
Hardcover (250 pages)

Cooking with Italian Grandmothers: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany to Sicily
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Product Description:
WINNER 2011 IACP Judges Choice Cookbook Award (International Association of Culinary Professionals)
WINNER 2011 IPPY Gold Award (Independent Publisher Book Awards)
Best Italian Cookbook of 2010 - Publisher's Weekly

American chef Jessica Theroux spent a year traveling throughout Italy, cooking and talking with Italian grandmothers, learning their secrets and listening to their stories. The result is a charming and authentic collection of recipes, techniques, anecdotes, and photographs that celebrate the rustic and sustainable culinary traditions of Italy’s most experienced home cooks.

Cooking with Italian Grandmothers
features the histories and menus of fifteen grandmothers, each of whom welcomed Ms. Theroux into their kitchens and pantries and shared both their favorite dishes and personal wisdoms. From the dramatic winter shores if Ustica to the blooming hills of Tuscany in spring, readers will journey through Italy’s most divers regions and seasons, to discover the country’s most delectable dishes, from the traditional to the unexpected, and meet the storied women who make them.

Part travel diary, part photo essay, part cookbook, Cooking with Italian Grandmothers features over 100 time-honored recipes, from the perfect panna cotta to the classic meat lasagna.

Includes:

Recipes and wisdom from 12 Italian grandmothers
100 classic Italian recipes
A number of regional and seasonal menus, complete from appetizer to dessert.
Over 150 full color photographs.

The Italian Slow Cooker

By Michele Scicolone

Houghton Mifflin
Released: 2010-01-07
Paperback (240 pages)

The Italian Slow Cooker
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  • Houghton Mifflin
Product Description:
Presents a variety of slow-cooker recipes for Italian food which detail how to combine fresh ingredients and simple techniques to produce dishes for soups, sauces, meats, vegetables, and simple desserts.
Title: The Italian Slow Cooker
Author: Scicolone, Michele/ Richardson, Alan (PHT)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 2010/01/07
Number of Pages: 232
Binding Type: PAPERBACK
Library of Congress: 2009013744

Italian Cooking: Classic Recipes and Techniques

By Mia Mangolini

Flammarion
Released: 2014-11-04
Hardcover (462 pages)

Italian Cooking: Classic Recipes and Techniques
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Product Description:
This comprehensive tome on Italian cooking offers 250 step-by-step techniques, 120 regional recipes, and links to eight video tutorials to ensure success by the home chef. Italian cuisine is one of life’s great pleasures and Italian Cooking offers the step-by-step kitchen techniques that are the secret to success. An overview of fundamental cooking methods offers expertise in preparing antipasti, pizza dough, fresh and dried pasta, risotto, polenta, sauces, seafood, and ice cream. Each method is explained in text and photographs; eight are further clarified in video tutorials. A practical guide explains the essential ingredients, kitchen utensils, regional specialties, ideal pasta and sauce pairings, and Slow Food principles that are the backbone of Italian meals. Organized by region, one hundred and twenty classic recipes—mushroom risotto, Milanese veal cutlets, tiramisu—are simplified for the home cook and provide ample inspiration for mealtime. Each recipe is graded with a three-star rating so that the home chef can gauge its complexity—and gradually expand their cooking ability through experience. A dozen recipes from Italy’s Michelin-star chefs and culinary artisans offer the ultimate challenge. Cross-references throughout to techniques, video tutorials, glossary terms, and complementary recipes make navigation easy. With a foreword by legendary Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini, this impressive volume is an essential guide for novice and established cooks alike.


 
 
 

 
 
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