10 dishes you have to try in Italy at least once

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Italy has always been considered one of the top destinations for food lovers and there’s just one simple reason behind this: in Italy eating is almost a religion and there are so many dishes to be tried that you can seriously get lost. It’s really hard to say to a tourists which are the unmissable food to try in Italy because each region and each city has its own and this means a huge variety. I’ve tried to summarize and I’ve chosen 10 real Italian dishes you’ve to taste if you’re in Italy… just 10 even if the list would be way more long! And never forget: we don’e eat those things in Italy!

Pasta alla carbonara

Well know everywhere around the world, the pasta carbonara is one of the most counterfeited dishes of the Italian cuisine. We don’t use cream, mushrooms, chicken and garlic to make our carbonara sauce and the recipe is way more simplest than the one you usually can find outside Italy. When in Rome try the authentic pasta carbonara in one of these places and eventually try to make it at home following my recipe.

Pasta alla Norma

A special Sicilian dish not so famous outside of Italy but it’s so tasty that if you’re in Italy in spring-summer, and especially in Sicily, you’ve to try. It’s a traditional recipe with a few simple ingredients: eggplants, salty ricotta cheese, tomato and basil. It’s Italy in one dish!

Italian pizza

Naples is the birthplace of the proper pizza and if you’re in the city you can’t avoid to eat it. Pizzerie are practically everywhere in Naples and it’s there you’ve to taste the real Neapolitan pizza, full of flavor and love. If you’re not in Naples you can try other kind of pizza because every region has its own recipe: focaccia in Genova and Apulia (with the amazing focaccia di Recco from Liguria a focaccia with a creamy layer of crescenza cheese in the middle), roman style pizza in Rome, pizza in a pan in Turin and so on.

Seafood broth

Despite the fact we cook with love, we don’t use cream and garlic to make our fish soup. Every region has its own proper recipe but in all of them there is a common ground: use only local fish and mix it with fresh ingredients. Traditionally the fish soup is made with slices of whole fish with bones and skin so if you’re in one of the coasts of Italy, on the heel or on the islands (Sicily and Sardinia) make every effort to taste this dish and you’ll be surprised and amazed by the fact that in most of the case less is the best!

Milanese-style risotto with osso buco alla Milanese

The Milanese-style risotto is really peculiar and, again, it’s simple but so tasty and smells so good that it’s addictive. It’s yellow because of the saffron and sometimes it costs way to much but every cents spent to eat a decent risotto is worth. If you’re brave also have a taste of the famous osso buco alla Milanese, braised veal shanks.

Pasta al pesto

You can buy pesto pretty much everywhere in the world these days but have you ever tasted the real “pesto alla genovese” from Genova? I bet you’ll be amazed by the flavor and the taste given by an unique mix of basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. In Genova you will have it with trenette but you can use in the way you prefer just respecting one simple rule: the pesto alla genovese cannot be cooked! Make your pesto at home with this recipe.

A proper bistecca alla fiorentina

The american steak is nothing if compared with the “bistecca alla fiorentina”, a real treat for meat lovers and people looking for real Italian food. It’s not that easy to find a good place where to eat it but when in Tuscany and in Florence do your best to eat it, without regrets!


I’m sure you are aware of the power of the lasagna but I’m also sure you’ve never tasted the original Italian one. The Italian lasagna is full of flavor and tomato sauce, it’s full of mozzarella cheese and, according to the region where it is cooked, can include different types of meat. For sure it’s not served with chips nor salad nor bread but it’s a full dish and must be eaten by itself according to the true Italian tradition.

Tiella from Apulia

Apulia is one of the best region for food in Italy and the tiella is the unmissable dish if you’re over there. It’s made with rice, potatoes and mussels and it’s called tiella because of the special ceramic baking dish in which the rice is cooked. You will never treat rice and fish in the same way after having eaten a proper tiella.


Tortellini are a speciality from Emilia Romagna and if outside of Italy they’re usually submerged in cream and/or white wine, in Italy you can have a comfort dish of homemade tortellini in chicken broth and your life will soon be better.

Not to be forgotten the canederli from Trentino Alto Adige made with leftover bread and the ribollita from Tuscany, made as well with leftover bread and vegetables. And the tiramisù oh the tiramisù!

Now, let’s have some fun:

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Categories: Travel & Food
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina


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