Italian cuisine is known and loved worldwide and is a great source of national pride source. These dishes are all simple and subtle but, at the same time, complex and tasty. They use ingredients like olive oil, oregano, and basil that are quintessentially Italian but have been incorporated into local dishes worldwide.
Pizza needs no introduction, but what you may know as pizza is probably different from in Italy. In Italy, pizza is a good size and simple, which makes each ingredient stand out. There are two types of Italian pizza: Neapolitan, which is thicker and smaller, and Roman, which is thinner, crispier, and larger. Pizza has been made in Italy for centuries, but it was in 1889 that the famous pizza, Margherita, was born. Queen Margherita gave her name and royal approval to the pizza consisting of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil created by chef Raffaele Esposito. Pizza is now enjoyed worldwide and popular in Australia, where you can find fine examples at the MacArthur Square restaurants.
Pasta is a simple combination of eggs, flour, water, olive oil, and salt that has more than 400 different styles, for example, fettuccine, spaghetti, penne, and tagliatelle. Each region in Italy has its particular style, for instance, the pappardelle from Tuscany. Pasta can be prepared in many different ways. Still, probably one of the most popular pasta dishes in Italy is spaghetti a la carbonara, made with guanciale, egg, pecorino cheese, and black pepper.
Arancini are fried rice balls filled with ragu or tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and arborio rice. Sicilian arancino recipes typically also include beef and peas. Arancini are coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried to give them a crispy, golden coating. They are usually served with marinara sauce and are found all around Italy in markets, pubs, and bars, but also in fine dining restaurants.
Lasagna is normally made with layers of pasta, meat, cheese, and tomato sauce, but there is also a vegetarian version where meat is substituted with vegetables. Lasagna originated in the Naples region and was originally prepared with bechamel sauce, ragu, and cheese, but over the years, it has transformed into the dish we know today.
This rice dish originates from Lombardy and is prepared with arborio or carnaroli rice. There are various regional styles of risotto, but the most famous is milanesa, prepared with saffron, beef or chicken stock, cheese, and lard, with a creamy sauce made from butter and spices. In other regions, it is served with various proteins and sauces.
Ossobuco is a veal shank with the bone cooked on a low-heat stove to allow the rich flavors from meat stock, vegetables, and white wine to blend and infuse. Veal is considered to be a delicacy in many European countries. This is a luxurious dish, but you don’t need to go to a fancy hotel or a fine-dining restaurant to find it.
Around the world, you can find great Italian restaurants that serve a variety of pizzas, risotto, and pasta, among other classic Italian dishes from each Italian region. Nowhere is this more true than in Australia.