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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.
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.
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:
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