Italian food comes in a genuinely infinite variety. Even a native Italian cannot definitively state which Italian cuisine is the greatest. The sun-kissed Italian cuisine is dolce vita on a plate—fresh, tasty, and pleasantly uncomplicated. Their meals taste like something you’d find in a Michelin-starred restaurant despite being made using seasonal, basic ingredients.
This enormous variety of foods is produced by both the stark differences in the regional traditional cuisines and the seasonal delicacies. It is totally a matter of taste; therefore, attempting to rank the “best” of Italy’s amazing cuisine is like attempting to prove that pizza is superior to pasta(which is definitely not true).
But with great effort, we’ve put together this comprehensive list of Italy’s best foods. Get ready for this gastronomically delightful ride!
1. Pasta Bolognese
The Lasagne alla Bolognese, or simply, the Pasta Bolognese, is one of Italy’s oldest pasta recipes. It is a classic Italian comfort dish made by layering pasta sheets, meat, sauce, and cheese in alternating fashion. This iconic dish is made with ragù (meat-based Bolognese sauce), Béchamel sauce, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
The Bolognese sauce is made from celery, onion, and carrot, to which finely chopped beef and small additions of pork and concentrated tomato are added. This is then cooked slowly for a long time to obtain a thick and fragrant sauce, which is then used to season fresh pasta, such as tagliatelle or traditional tortellini.
2. Pizza Napoletana
There are so many wonderful traditional foods in Italy, but Pizza Napoletana best captures the spirit of Italian cuisine. What many people believe to be the ideal and most authentic sort of pizza is made up of history, simplicity, and fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Neapolitan pizza is essentially a flatbread covered with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and extra virgin olive oil. It was created in Naples sometime during the 18th and 19th centuries. Though this pizza seems too easy to make with simple 3-4 ingredients, making the authentic Pizza Napoletana is an art form in itself.
Focaccia is one of Italy’s most well-known and delectable bread varieties, frequently linked to Ligurian cuisine. Although there are innumerable variations of this dish throughout Italy, the traditional focaccia alla Genovese found in Genoa, and the villages along the Italian Riviera is claimed to be the best in the world. This is typically made with a combination of soft and hard wheat flour, yeast, water, salt, and high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
The success of this preparation is largely dependent on the quality of the gluten-rich flour, the extra virgin olive oil, and the manual dexterity of those who produce it.
4. Spaghetti Carbonara
Ranging from standard trattorias to upscale eateries, there are several places in Rome that serve good spaghetti alla carbonara. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go to Rome to taste some delicious spaghetti carbonara!
What makes this dish remarkable is that it is one of the most traditional Italian dishes, showcasing the distinctive qualities of this cuisine to the fullest. This spaghetti recipe, which is made with Pecorino Romano cheese, fresh eggs, guanciale, and pepper, is pure magic. And no, don’t even think about adding milk or cream to this dish!
Cicchetti is a small, cheaply priced dish of food served in Venice’s classic wine bars or bacari.
Small portions of a mixture of one or more seafood, meat, and vegetable ingredients served on top of a slice of bread or polenta are common Cicchetti plates. Other common Cicchetti includes halved hard-boiled eggs, plates of olives or other vegetables, and small sandwiches. Like Spanish tapas, one can also make a meal of Cicchetti by ordering multiple plates.
In true Venetian style, Cicchetti tastes best when served with Ombra (a glass of wine).
Panzanella is a delicious, healthy bread and tomato salad that is a mainstay of Tuscan cuisine that is typically eaten in central Italy during the hot summer months. This traditional peasant dish has its roots in Tuscany’s lush fields, where farmers were forced to rely on locally produced food to sustain themselves while working.
Though the original recipe was made with stale bread and onions, today’s Panzanella is created with luscious, sun-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh basil, and leftover bread that is seasoned with olive oil and vinegar for a heavenly aroma and fresh taste of the summer!
Risotto is one of the most well-known Italian dishes in the world. While some claim that Italians prefer bread to all other types of carbs, a creamy risotto is the national dish of choice! Since the ingredients used to produce this Italian dish are typically expensive and upscale, it is often cooked and consumed in wealthy households or fine-dining restaurants.
For example, the Risotto alla Milanese is infused with saffron, and it is a pricey ingredient. Cuttlefish, squid ink, and arborio rice are all premium components used to make Risotto al Nero di Sepia.
Meals like risotto should be consumed in fine-dining establishments to truly appreciate the luxury of Italian cuisine.
Arancini are arborio rice balls stuffed with ragu and cheese and come with optional sides like aubergine, peas, etc. They are considered a component of the first course or antipasti. Starting your meal with this particular Italian dish will introduce new flavours to your palate and spark your hunger for the remaining dishes.
Arancini cû sucu, the most popular variety of arancini available in Sicilian cafés, is often made with rice, mozzarella, and other cheeses in addition to meat in a tomato sauce. If you’re planning on eating a full-course Italian meal, don’t miss out on this amazing starter!
9. Fiorentina Steak
This well-known Italian dish, also known as Bistecca Fiorentina, is a favourite among many residents. A T-bone beef steak is cooked for five to seven minutes, resulting in a grilled exterior and a rare to medium-rare inside. Chianina breed pieces are used to create authentic Florentine. When cut, the meat resembles a traditional T-bone steak after maturing for around twenty days.
Salad or cannellini beans tossed in olive oil are common accompaniments for this dish. When served at the table, it pairs well with fine red wine, such as Chianti Classico.
And to wrap up this list of delicious Italian foods, it would be a sin to end it without the traditional gelato from the streets of Italy. Italian gelato has a long history dating back to the Renaissance, though no one is certain about who invented this creamy frozen treat. This Italian equivalent of ice cream is more flavorful and sweet since it is made with less fat, water, and air.
Traditional flavours of gelato include cream (also known as custard), vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, almond, and pistachio. Modern flavours include raspberry, strawberry, apple, lemon, pineapple, and black raspberry. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a must-try!
Taste authentic and scrumptious Italian cuisine in Chennai!
The love for Italian food has crossed the borders of Italy and is now present all over the world through street pizza eateries and small pasta shops almost everywhere. But to taste the authentic taste and flavours of Italian cuisine, you need to find a place that takes its job seriously. And such a place is Jonah’s Bistro.
At Jonah’s, you get the best Italian food made with the freshest ingredients and the most flavourful seasonings. If you are in Chennai and craving some creamy pasta and yummy crust pizzas, Jonah’s Bistro is the place for you!
Not stopping with just Italian cuisine, Jonah’s Bistro also offers some of the best picks from cuisines like European, Continental, Pan Asian, Japanese, and American.
The next time you are longing for some authentic Italian cuisine in the city, you know what to get! This was a list of the 10 most delicious Italian foods you can find in Chennai, that stay true to the original Italian taste. From basic garlic bread to the perfect Italian risotto and pizza, these dishes will leave your Italian soul (and stomach) craving for more!
And don’t forget to check out the nearest Jonah’s Bistro for some lip-smacking Italian foods!
1. What’s the most popular Italian food?
Pizza is the most popular and loved Italian food all over the world. Made with flat-bread and common ingredients like cheese, tomato, oil, and spices, there’s perhaps no dish more common or representative of the country than a pizza.
2. What part of Italy has the best food?
Bologna in Northern Italy. Frequently referred to as the “culinary capital of Italy,” this city is perhaps the country’s best food city. Many savoury recipes are made here that feature a significant meat component and fresh, regional ingredients.
3. What are the four courses in an Italian meal?
The 4 courses in an Italian meal are:
- Antipasto: Starters. The common one is Bruschetta.
- Primo Piatto: First course like pasta, risotto or soups.
- Second Piatto: Second course that includes meat or fish.
- Dolce: Dessert time!
4. What is the most popular sauce in Italy?
Salsa di Pomodoro is the most popular sauce in Italy. This simple and classic tomato sauce is a household staple all around the country.
5. What flavours are Italy most known for?
Italy is all about olive oil, tomato sauces, basil, dry-cured meats and cheeses. Almost every Italian dish can find one or two of these ingredients.