We can all cook spaghetti Bolognese, but how about something a little more local, a little more authentic, and ultimately a little more special. These regional Italian recipes are incredibly simple to prepare and will effortlessly bring a delicious taste of Italy to your kitchen.
PUGLIA – Orecchiette with Turnip Tops
Stroll through any Puglian village or town and you’re likely see groups of nonnas gathered around tables on a side street, hand-rolling orecchiette. Translating to ‘little ear’ these round pasta shapes are local to Puglia and commonly served with sprightly green turnip tops. This recipe is traditional and very tasty.
UMBRIA – Tagliatelle with Truffles
Every autumn, truffle markets appear all over Umbria, brimming with these rarefied delicacies. In fact, Umbria is Italy’s largest black truffle producing region, and hunting for them is an integral part of the culture. Combined with silky tagliatelle, truffles are a sumptuous treat.
CAMPANIA – Neapolitan Pizza
Home to Naples, if Campania is famed for one regional Italian recipe, it’s a classic Neapolitan pizza. Utterly simple made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil, it lets the quality of the ingredients do the talking. Funnily enough, people believed tomatoes to be poisonous until Naples peasants began to top their flatbreads with them in the 18th century. Thus, the pizza was born!
LAZIO – Abbacchio alla Romana (Roman-style Lamb)
Suckling lamb (abbacchio) has been a traditional Roman delicacy since ancient times, and this dish is the Lazio region’s signature recipe. Served up either as a large joint or in diced chunks, the lamb’s almost always prepared with fragrant rosemary, wine and anchovies to give it a salty kick. You’ll find abbacchio alla Romana on the table at Easter and other celebrations.
TUSCANY – Ribollita
Aside from lashings of Chianti and Montepulciano, Tuscany is heralded for its ribollita – a hearty soup using up pantry leftovers and the previous day’s minestrone soup. You’ll commonly find cannellini beans, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and stale bread in the delicious broth. Its name translates to ‘re-boiled’ and like much Italian cuisine, has peasant origins, when utilising every scrap of food was an essential practice.
Cook Ribollita here with this recipe from River Cottage
Fancy tasting some authentic Italian dishes in their native country? Click here to discover a gastronomic Trafalgar trip.
Image credits: Lead image © iStock/SolStock. Abbacchio alla Romana © iStock/LauriPatterson. Oricchiette © iStock/milla 1974. Tagliatelle © iStock/Bonchan. Pizza © iStock/VincentvdW. Ribollita © iStock/ALLEKO.