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Know Your Food: Italian Cuisine Explained

Tanvi Juwale February 15, 2017

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Because this rustic cuisine has much more to offer than just pizza
We always think of pizza or pasta when we speak about Italian food, but we’re far from the whole truth. Rustic, simple and fresh, this cuisine finds its roots all the way back to antiquity. It is known for its regional diversity and with Italian food it’s all about the ingredients. So, read on to know more about authentic Italian food and where to find it in this city.
Bruschetta
bruschetta

Bruschetta

A typical Italian Antipasto (starter), Bruschetta is bread placed on a grill, rubbed with garlic and olive oil. It comes topped with tomato, onions and caramelized balsamic vinegar. Probably one of the most famous dishes, this dish hails from southern Italy.
Bite into some tasty Bruschetta at Quattro Ristorante, Prego - The Westin and Gustoso.

Insalata Capresse
Insalata Capresse or Caprese Salad

Insalata Capresse or Caprese Salad

We know this dish by the name of Capresse Salad and it’s another simplistic yet flavourful salad. Made by sliced Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil seasoned with Olive oil, and sometimes even dressed with Balsamic dressing.
Stay healthy with this simple yet flavourful salad at Quattro Ristorante and Trattoria Vivanta by Taj.
Minestrone
Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

On a cold night when it’s freezing outside, warm up to a bowl of Minestrone – a thick soup replete with vegetables.  This soup probably has been around since the Roman Empire and it’s fascinating how, over the years the recipe has adapted to the new times. Currently, classic Minestrone comes with veggies and some pasta too!
Warm up to a bowl of Minestrone at Gustoso and Mockingbird Café Bar
Pesto
Pesto

Pesto

We have chutney and just like us, Italy has Pesto. Now, these two may look similar but they’re actually very different. Pesto is essentially a paste made of pine nuts, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. It’s aromatic, rustic and earthy; usually served with pasta; it can also be used as a dip or spread.
Get your pesto fix at Saucery and Café Moshe’s
Carpaccio
Tenderloin Carpaccio

Tenderloin Carpaccio

Carpaccio probably is the most recent addition to Italy’s culinary heritage. Usually served as an appetizer, it is was invented in 1950’s and named after Vittore Carpaccio, an Italian painter. A rather discerning delicacy, is made with thinly sliced meat which is usually raw  with seasoning such as lemon, salt or vinaigrette.
Arancini
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Arancini is an appetizer made of deep fried risotto balls and is believed to hail from Sicily after the Arab invaders brought rice to Italy. The name loosely means little oranges and aptly so after what tiny Arancini balls resemble. Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside they’re usually filled with tomato sauce, cheese and meat.
Devour these cheesy delights at Prego - The Westin and Farzi Café
Focaccia
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Imagine the aroma of freshly baked bread, isn’t it appetizing? Focaccia is flat bread usually made with dough similar to pizza crust and olive oil. This soft and luscious bread comes with toppings such as olives, sundried tomatoes and capers.
Dig into a comforting Focaccia at World Streat Food, The Rolling Pin, Theobroma and Café Moshe’s
Pizza Ai Frutti di Mare
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Love seafood? Love pizza? Here’s the Pizza you wouldn’t want to miss. Ai Frutti di Mare is a typical Italian seafood pizza that comes topped with squids, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, caviar, scallops, shellfish, clams, et al.
Relish this delight at Prego - The Westin and Jamie’s Pizzeria by Jamie Oliver
Calzone
calzone-30
Remember Hot pockets? Slightly similar to those, this Italian street food favourite resembles Spanish Empanadas or Stromboli. Folded over, stuffed with cheese and pizza toppings and then baked. It sure makes for the perfect snack on the go!
Snack on a Calzone at Quattro Ristorante and Café Mangii
Pasta Aglio Olio
 
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When do you call a dish minimalistic? Probably when the preparation only requires five ingredients and yet be extremely delicious. Literally translates to olive oil and garlic, this dish requires patience to infuse the oil with the ingredients. The pasta is then tossed in the oily flavourful sauce and garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Polish off a plateful of this delight at Prithvi Cafe and 145
Risotto
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Rich, creamy and hearty Risotto hails from Milan. Arborio rice  cooked in a dense broth makes for a delicious meal. This dish gets it silky texture from the traditional slow cooking. Wholesome, heart and comforting are just some of the adjectives we think of when someone says Risotto.
Nourish yourself with risotto at Cafe Mangii and The Tasting Room
Panna Cotta
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Literally translates to cooked cream in Italian, this no doubt, is a dessert. Originating from Northern Italy, it traditionally is chilled in ramekins and serves with coulis. You know a well-made Panna cotta when it has a supple consistency, it wobbles but stays firm holding its shape.
Scoop up the last bit of Panna Cotta at Mirchi & Mime and The Sassy Spoon
Gelato
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Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. The first ever records of people relishing flavoured ice shavings in Italy date back as much as 3000 BC. Slow churning gives it the creamy consistency and enhances the flavour. Little did we know what used to be just flavoured ice flakes will evolve into an indulgent dessert, we now call Gelato?
Relish a gelato at Gelato Italiano and Amore Gourmet Gelato
Tiramisu
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Tiramisu literally means pick-me-up in Italian and why not? This decadent dessert is delicately crafted with espresso and kahlua soaked Saviordi biscuits, layered with mascarpone cheese and cocoa. This dessert is relished not only in Italy but across the globe too!
Pick it up and savour a decadent Tiramisu at Trattoria - Vivanta by Taj and Pizza By The Bay
Images for representational purposes only.

About the Author

Food is my favourite F-word! Master in Eatmylogy. Future food entrepreneur. Antevasin. Spaghettivore. Hates the casual use of the word 'foodie' and loves a well-cooked meal, snowflakes and the mountains! Follow me on Instagram: @MsFoodieTwoShoes Twitter: @pinchofsalt_23


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