Italian Pasta Dishes
Italian Food Recipes
Italian food is world renowned for its rich diversity and variety of dishes for all occasions. Whether preparing a romantic dinner for two, a large festive meal for the whole family or a quick snack, you'll find that there is an Italian dish to meet your needs.
The secret behind truly great Italian food is in the ingredients. Only the best and freshest will do and when added to basic simple cooking methods that work with the flavor of the food, some of the most delicious dishes are created. This is the place to find recipes for Italian food to meet your every need. You'll also find information on what cooking equipment you'll need, what methods you might want to use and which wines and ingredients will work best for your needs.
Some Italian recipes can be traced as far back as the Fourth century BC. Italian dishes have changed and evolved through hundreds of years of social and political changes and upheaval. Many of the biggest changes occurred around the time of the New World. The increase in trade helped to introduce vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and maize. In addition to the vegetables that helped to shape Italian cuisine, increased trade also brought spices such as black pepper. Since most Italian dishes include the freshest ingredients, many of the recipes you'll find are seasonal due to produce, as well as regional, depending on what ingredients are grown in particular areas.
The average Italian meal will consist of three or even four courses. Italians see meal time as a time to sit, relax and spend time with friends and family. The Italian meal is a time to enjoy and often takes longer than the meal times of people in other parts of the world. In fact, in many Italian households, a holiday will consist of a feast that will last for hours.
Many families choose to save the traditional three or four course Italian meals for special occasions such as weddings, and the usual menu will only include the first and second courses to a meal, or coffee and a side dish. In Italian cuisine, it is often the first course that is more filling, and may include pasta or risotto, which are both high in carbohydrates. Today's Italian recipes will often consist of one course that offers protein and carbohydrates in one dish, such as pasta and legumes or a meat.
When it comes to dessert, most Italian recipes are relatively simple. For instance, cannoli, tiramisu and biscotti are all made of basic ingredients that you'll likely find in your home and spices or liqueurs that might be used are easy to find. Essentially, it's the knowledge of ingredient combinations that will offer the specific flavor we know and love.
Italian dishes and the ingredients that are used will depend on the region from which they come. Many recipes are now regional and national, but there may be variations depending on location. Many of the recipes that used to come from one specific region can now be found all around the country. Cheese and wine also plays a major role in Italian meals, depending on the region. Coffee, also known as espresso is also an essential in Italian culture and menus.
Much of the traditional Italian food has the diversity of the culture of the country itself, with many differences in recipes depending on the heritage of the peasants and differences in geography. For instance, Bologna contributes its own baroque, fat and rich recipes. These meals are high in meat, butter and Parmigiano. The recipes from Naples, on the other hand, use lots of seafood, olive oil and mozzarella. Roman cuisine is rich in fresh produce, while Sicilian recipes have lots of North American flavors.
Since this region has such diversity, the Italian cooking is not easily explained or described. Foods and recipes vary by region and often serve to identify each individual region. Italians are partial to their particular heritage and see it as their individuality, so breaking down the culture is often met with resistance.