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Pizza and spaghetti, both associated with the Neapolitan traditions of cookery, are especially popular abroad, but the varying geographical conditions of the twenty regions of Italy, together with the strength of local traditions, afford a wide range of dishes.
Dishes and foods
The cuisine of Italy has many unique dishes and foods.
Acquacotta - an Italian soup that was originally a peasant food. Historically, its primary ingredients were water, stale bread, onion, tomato and olive oil, along with various vegetables and leftover foods that may have been available.
Pizza ai funghi e salsiccia - pizza with mushroom and sausage or boscaiola, with mozzarella, mushrooms and sausages, with or without tomato
Pizza al taglio - (Italian for pizza by the slice -- literally "by the cut") is a variety of pizza baked in large rectangular trays, and generally sold in rectangular or square slices by weight, with prices marked per kilogram or per 100 grams. This type of pizza was invented in Rome, Italy, and is common throughout Italy.
Pizza ai quattro formaggi - (four cheese pizza) with four different cheeses (sometimes melted together, sometimes in sectors), with (rossa, red) or without tomato sauce (bianca, white)
Agliata - the direct ancestor of pesto, it is a spread made from garlic cloves, egg yolk and olive oil pestled in a mortar until creamy
Baccalà fritto - morsels of salt cod dipped in flour batter and fried
Bagnun (literally Big Bath or Big Dip) a soup made with fresh anchovies, onion, olive oil and tomato sauce where crusty bread is then dipped; originally prepared by fishermen on long fishing expeditions and eaten with hard tack instead of bread.
Bianchetti - Whitebait of anchovies and sardines, usually boiled and eaten with lemon juice, salt and olive oil as an entrée
Cappon Magro - a preparation of fish, shellfishes and vegetables layered in an aspic
Cima alla genovese - this cold preparation features an outer layer of beef breast made into a pocket and stuffed with a mix of brain, lard, onion, carrot, peas, eggs and breadcrumbs, then sewn and boiled. It is then sliced and eaten as an entrée or a sandwich filler
Cobeletti - sweet corn tarts
Condigiun - a salad made with tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, black olives, basil, garlic, anchovies, hard boiled egg, oregano, tuna.
Farinata di zucca - a preparation similar to chickpea farinata substituting pumpkin for the legumes' flour as its main ingredient, the end result is slightly sweeter and thicker than the original
Galantina - similar to Testa in cassetta but with added veal.
Latte dolce fritto - a thick milk based cream left to solidify, then cut in rectangular pieces which are breaded and fried.
Maccheroni con la Trippa - A traditional savonese soup uniting maccheroni pasta, tripe, onion, carrot, sausage, "cardo" which is the Italian word for Swiss chard, parsley, and white wine in a base of capon broth, with olive oil to help make it satisyfing. Tomato may be added but that is not the traditional way to make it. (Traditional ingredients: brodo di gallina o cappone, carota, cipolla, prezzemolo, foglie di cardo, trippa di vitello, salsiccia di maiale, maccheroni al torchio, vino bianco, burro, olio d'oliva, formaggio grana, sale.)
Mescciüa - a soup of chickpeas, beans and wheat grains, typical of eastern Liguria and likely of Arab origin
Mosciamme - originally a cut of dolphin meat dried and then made tender again thanks to immersion in olive oil, for several decades tuna has replaced dolphin meat.
Pandolce - sweet bread made with raisins, pine nuts and candied orange and cedar skins
Panera genovese - a kind of semifreddo rich in cream and eggs flavoured with coffee, similar to a cappuccino in ice cream form
Panissa and Farinata - chickpea-based polentas and pancakes respectively
Pansoti - triangle-shaped stuffed pasta filled with a mix of borage (or spinach) and ricotta cheese, they can be eaten with butter, tomato sauce or a white sauce made with either walnuts or pine nuts (the latter two being the more traditional ligurian options)
Pesto - Probably Liguria's most famous recipe, widely enjoyed beyond regional borders, is a green sauce made from basil leaves, sliced garlic, pine nuts, pecorino or parmigiano cheese (or a mix of both) and olive oil. Traditionally used as a pasta dressing (especially with gnocchi or trenette, it is finding wider uses as sandwich spread and finger-food filler)
Pizza all'Andrea - focaccia-style pizza topped with tomato slices (not sauce) onions and anchovies
Scabeggio - fried fish marinated in wine, garlic, lemon juice and sage, typical of Moneglia
Sgabei - fritters made from bread dough (often incorporating some cornmeal in it)
Stecchi alla genovese - wooden skewers alternating morsels of leftover chicken meats (crests, testicles, livers...) and mushrooms, dipped in white bechamel sauce, left to dry a bit and then breaded and fried
Testa in cassetta - a salami made from all kind of leftover meats from pork butchering (especially from the head)
Torta di riso - Unlike all other rice cakes this preparation is not sweet, but a savoury pie made with rice, caillé, parmigiano and eggs, it can be wrapped in a thin layer of dough or simply baked until firm
Torta pasqualina - savory flan filled with a mixture of green vegetables, ricotta and parmigiano cheese, milk and marjoran; some eggs are then poured in the already-placed filling, so that their yolks will remain whole when cooked
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar) and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia (Balsamic vinegar) - very precious, expensive and rare sweet, dark, sweet and aromatic vinegar, made in small quantities according to elaborated and time consuming procedures (it takes at least 12 years to brew the youngest Aceto Balsamico) from local grapes must (look for the essential "Tradizionale" denomination on the label to avoid confusing it with the cheaper and completely different "Aceto Balsamico di Modena" vinegar, mass-produced from wine and other ingredients
Borlengo from the hills South of Modena
Cannelloni, Crespelle and Rosette - pasta filled with bechamel, cream, ham and others
Capicola|Coppa - cured pork neck form Piacenza and Parma
Cappellacci - large size filled egg pasta with chestnut puree and sweet Mostarda di Bologna, from Romagna.
Cappelletti - small egg pasta "hats" filled with ricotta, parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano and nutmeg, sometimes also chicken breast or pork and lemon zest, from Emilia, in particular Reggio.
Cappello da prete - "tricorno" hat shaped bag of pork rind with stuffing similar to zampone's, to be boiled (from Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena)
Ciccioli - cold meat made with pig's feet and head from Modena
Cotechino - big raw spiced pork sausage to be boiled, stuffing rich in pork rind (from Emilia provinces)
Crescentine baked on Tigelle - (currently known also as Tigelle that is the traditional name of the stone dies which Crescentine were baked between) a small round (approx. 8 cm diameter, 1 cm or less thick) flat bread from the Modena Appennine mountains
Crescentine - flat bread from Bologna and Modena: to be fried in pork fat or baked between hot dies (see Tigelle above)
Culatello - a cured ham made with the most tender of the pork rump: the best is from the small Zibello area in Parma lowlands
Erbazzone - spinach and cheese filled pie from Reggio Emilia
Fave stufate - broad beans with mortadella
Garganelli - typical Romagna quill shaped egg pasta usually dressed with Guanciale (cheek bacon), peas, Parmigiano Reggiano and a hint of cream.
Gnocco Fritto - fried pastry puffs from Modena (Gnocco Fritto was a very local name: until few decades ago it was unknown even in neighbouring Emilian provinces where different denominations, i.e. Crescentine Fritte in Bologna, for similar fried puffs)
Gramigna con salsiccia - typical Bologna short and small diameter curly pasta pipes with sausage ragù.
Lasagne - green or yellow egg pasta layered with Bolognese Ragù (meat sauce) and bechamel
Mortadella - baked sweet and aromatic pork sausage from Bologna
Pan Pepato - very rich Christmas dried fruit and nut dessert with almonds, candies and a lot of sweet spices
Parmigiano-Reggiano - prized ancient long-aged cheese from Reggio Emilia, Parma. Modena and Bologna
Passatelli - noodles made of breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano, cheese, lemon zest and nutmeg from Romagna* Pesto di Modena - cured pork back fat pounded with garlic, rosemary and Parmigiano-Reggiano used to fill borlenghi and baked crescentine
Piadina Fritta - Fried Romagna pastry rectangles
Piadina - Pancake shaped flat bread (from Romagna) which can be smaller and higher or larger and very thin
Pisarei e Fasò - pasta peas with beans from Piacenza
Salame Felino - salami from Parma province
Salamina da Sugo - soft sausage from Ferrara, seasonal.
Spalla di San Secondo - gourmet salami from a small town near Parma; it is made with seasoned pork shoulder, stuffed in cow bladders and slowly boiled or steamed.
Spongata - very rich Christmas time thin tart: a soft crust with flour sugar dusting, stuffed with finely broken almonds and other nuts, candies and a lot of sweet spices, from Reggio Emilia
Squacquerone - sweet, runny, milky cheese from Romagna
Tagliatelle all' uovo - egg pasta noodles, very popular across Emilia-Romagna; they are made in slightly different thickness, width and length according to local practise (in Bologna the authentic size of Tagliatelle alla Bolognese is officially registered at the local Chamber of Commerce)
Torresani - roasted pigeons popular in Emilia
Torta Barozzi o Torta Nera - barozzi tart or black tart (a dessert made with a coffee/cocoa and almond filling encased in a fine pastry dough (from Modena)
Tortelli alla Lastra - griddle baked pasta rectangles filed with potato and pumpkin puree and sausage or bacon bits
Tortelli - usually square, made in all Emilia-Romagna, filled with swiss chard or spinach, ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano in Romagna or ricotta, parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano in Bologna (where they are called Tortelloni) and Emilia, or with potatoes and pancetta in the Apennine mountains
Tortellini - small egg pasta navel shapes filled with lean pork, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mortadella, Parma Ham and nutmeg (from Bologna and Modena: according to a legend, they were invented in Castelfranco Emilia by a peeping innkeeper after the navel of a beautiful guest)
Zampone - stuffed pig's trotter, fat, but leaner than cotechino's, stuffing; to be boiled (from Modena)
Pan di ramerino - a rosemary bread seasoned with sugar and salt. The bread was originally served during Holy Week decorated with a cross on top and sold at the Church by semellai; it is, however, offered year round now.
Pan maoko - equal parts wheat and maize flour, with pine nuts and raisins added
Pane classico integrale - unsalted bread made with semolina with a crisp crust
Pane con i grassetti - a bread from the Garfagnana area, with pork cracklings mixed in
Pane con l'uva - in other areas this bread often takes the form of small loaves or rolls, but in Tuscany it is a rolled-out dough with red grapes incorporated into it and sprinkled with sugar. It is bread served often in the autumn in place of dessert and often served with figs
Panigaccio - Lunigiana specialty made with flour, water and salt baked over red-hot coals and served with cheese and olive oil
Panina gialla aretina - an Easter bread with a high fat content, containing raisins, saffron, and spices. It is consecrated in a church before being served with eggs
Panini di San Antonio - sweet rolls eaten on the feast day of St. Anthony
Schiacciata - dough rolled out onto baking sheet and can have pork cracklings, herbs, potatoes and/or tomatoes added to the top along with a salt and olive oil
Schiacciatina - made with a fine flour, salt dough with yeast and olive oil
Passatelli all'urbinate - spinach and meat dumplings
Unique ham and sausage specialties
Coppa - coppa in this region refers to a boiling sausage made from pig's head, bacon, orange peel, nutmeg and sometimes pinenuts or almonds. It is meant to be eaten within a month of preparation
Ciauscolo - made from the belly and shoulder of pig with half its weight in pork fat and seasoned with salt, pepper, orange peel and fennel. It is stuffed into an intestine casing, dried in a smoking chamber and cured for three weeks.
Fegatino - a liver sausage with pork belly and shoulder, where the liver replaces the fat of other sausages
Mazzafegato di Fabriano - mortadella made from fat and lean pork with liver and lung added to the fine-grained emulsification. It is seasoned with salt and pepper, stuffed into casings and smoked. This sausage is often served at festivals.
Prosciutto del Montefeltro - made from free-range black pigs, this is a smoked Prosciutto washed with vinegar and ground black pepper
Salame del Montefeltro - made from the leg and loin meat of the black pig, this sausage is highly seasoned with peppercorns and hung to dry
Salame di Fabriano - similar to salame lardellato except that it is made solely from leg of pork with pepper and salt
Salame lardellato - made with lean pork shoulder, or leg meat, along with diced bacon, salt, pepper, and whole peppercorns. It is cased in hog's intestines, dried for one-and-a-half days and then placed in a warm room for 3-4 days, two days in a cold room and then two months in a ventilated storage room
Soppressata di Fabriano - finely emulsified pork flavored with bacon, salt and pepper, the sausage is smoked and then aged
Scripelle 'Mbusse - Abruzzo crêpes (flour, water and eggs), seasoned with Pecorino cheese, rolled and served in chicken broth.
Sugo di castrato - mutton sauce made with onion, rosemary, bacon, white wine, and tomatoes
Timballo teremana - A "lasagne" made with scripelle (Abruzzo crêpes) layered with a ragout of beef, pork, onion, carrot and celery, also layered with mushrooms, crumbled hard boiled egg, peas and besciamella.
Burrata - a fresh cheese with spun dough, similar to mozzarella, but with a consistency that is softer and more filamentous, particularly produced in the Murgia region, where its place of origin, Andria, is located. The burrata is worked by hand with a filling of cream and pieces of spun dough called stracciatella, and it is contained in an envelope also formed of spun dough.
Caciocavallo podolico - a variety of cheese products made exclusively with Podolica cow milk.
Cacioricotta - a cheese produced throughout Apulia.
Cartellate - a pastry, particularly prepared around Christmas, made of a thin strip of a dough made of flour, olive oil, and white wine that is wrapped upon itself, intentionally leaving cavities and openings, to form a sort of "rose" shape; the dough is then deep-fried, dried, and soaked in either lukewarm vincotto or honey.
Muscisca - bacon or boneless meat from sheep or goat (and in some cases veal), which is cut into long (20-30 cm) and thin (3-4 cm) strips, and seasoned with salt, chili, and fennel seeds before being sun-dried.
Il timballo del gattopardo - Sicilian pie; pastry dough baked with a filling of penne rigata, Parmesan, and bound a sauce of ham, chicken, liver, onion, carrot, truffles, diced hard-boiled egg and seasoned with clove, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Gattopardo (the Serval) makes reference to the arms of the Lampedusa family and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's well-known novel Il Gattopardo. (The dish does not contain catmeat.)
Maccu di San Giuseppe - bean paste with fennel
Panelle - a Sicilian chickpea fritter, often eaten as a sandwich and popular as street food
^Laura Halpin Rinsky; Glenn Rinsky (2009). The Pastry Chef's Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking and Pastry Professional. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. p. 2. ISBN0-470-00955-1. OCLC173182689.