Thanks to the export of pizza and pasta, Italian food is one of the most popular cuisines in the U.S. and the world at large. These days, you can find an Italian dish (or something Italian-inspired) on almost every street corner, no matter what country you’re in.
But if you want the real thing, there’s only one place you can go. That is, of course, the homeland: Italy.
While you’re there, we’ve got some recommendations on the famous Italian dishes you need to try.
1. Neapolitan Pizza
What makes Neapolitan pizza so special is its simplicity. All you need to make a pie is dough, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese. But there is a world of complexity shrouded behind its humble exterior, and Italian chefs dedicate their lives to perfecting this kind of pizza.
It starts with getting the right kind of ingredients. You need 00 flour, San Marzano or Roma tomatoes, and mozzarella sourced from native water buffaloes. From there, getting the right dough consistency and tomato sauce blend is anything but easy.
If you’d like to try making a Neapolitan at home, we recommend getting your ingredients from Giannetti Artisans Italian Food.
2. Osso Buco
This dish hails from the Lombardy region of Italy. It’s a hearty stew of tenderly braised veal shanks and starchy vegetables like carrots and potatoes. It’s typically braised in white wine and broth.
It is typically served with a side dish of risotto or polenta, depending on where you’re eating it.
Everyone loves fried food, and if you’ve ever been to a county fair, you’ll be familiar with the spirit of this dish. Arancini are stuffed rice balls, dredged in bread crumbs, and then deep fried.
The balls are typically stuffed with minced meat, mozzarella cheese, and/or vegetables like peas. The filling varies depending on the region and restaurant, but either way, you’re getting an incredible bite of comfort food.
4. Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e Pepe, which translates to “cheese and pepper” in English is essentially Italians’ version of Mac and Cheese. It’s a simple, but enormously complex dish that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes.
The dish consists of just three things: long pasta, like bucatini, pecorino Romano cheese, and pepper. The dish is made by boiling the pasta and leaving some starchy water behind. The pasta is then transferred to a skillet and the water is added. Then, you add the cheese and pepper.
The cheese and the water emulsify to create a creamy sauce that binds to the pasta. The result is something that will have your taste buds screaming for more.
Want to Read About More Famous Italian Dishes?
When it comes to Italian cuisine, these famous Italian dishes are just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to read more about Italian cuisine, be sure to check out the Food + Drinks section of our website.