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Home / News / Italian Food Culture: A European Delight!

Italian Food Culture: A European Delight!

By Kate | Follow twitter | Updated on May 24, 2022

Food is an emotion, a feeling that cannot be expressed in words. It can only be felt by a foody tongue and tummy full of hunger. Food defines a culture. It is a rhythm that binds a community and a country. Talking about food, Italian food is rocking not only in the states of Italy alone, but everywhere across the world.

Italian culture is all about arts, architecture, music, family and last but not the least, food. If Italy couldn’t roam across the places, it allowed its food to travel overseas for an Italian delight in every person’s platter.

Some of the famous Italian culture symbols other than food include art, literature, clothing, Venetian masks, music, wine, etc.


Italian Food: A Cultural Feast!

Food is an expression of Italian culture. Wine, cheese and pasta has taken over a space in the food platter of nearly every person across the world. The taste, tradition, simplicity, quality and health impacts of Italian food are ruling the world in an artistic manner.

Even Italian food is celebrated as a festival alone to enjoy and socialize around people. No family celebration or event goes without a happy Italian meal.

Italian food culture is widespread. If you ever happen to visit San Diego, but develop a sudden craving for Italian food in San Diego, make sure to check the menu card of your restaurant. This will save you time and treat you to indulgence in saturating the need of your craved Italian spices.

Importance of Food in Italian Culture

‘Paese che vai, usanze che trovi’ or When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Probably this would have been said because Romans know better the importance of food in Italian culture than most of us.

The most special quality of Italian food is that the Italian recipes are not rich in fats. They majorly use olive oil in all their recipes wherever necessary. In addition to that, almost all the Italian recipes are made from scratch and they do not make way for artificial ingredients and preservatives. Even the Italian sauces are made up from home grown fresh ingredients rather than using the canned ones.

Italian food names

Whether you are planning a vacay in Italy or planning to get Italy home to your dining, some of the most famous Italian food names that are a must try include:

  • Spaghetti alla Carbonara:

This recipe is prepared with fresh eggs, pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese and guanciale making the Carbonara Pasta worldwide famous.

  • Truffles:

You can find the right Truffles only in Italy because of the availability of required moisture and temperature. Don’t forget to add Truffles to your list if you are visiting Italy ever.

  • Gelato:

Italian corners are filled with Gelatos to savor your sweet tooth. Prepared with fat, water and air its flavors are a must try. They are similar to western ice creams but in a healthy manner.

  • Tuscan Seafood stew:

Cacciucco or the Tuscan seafood stew is seasoned with garlic, sage, parsley, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. It is best served with Croutons.

  • Muffuletta:

Muffuletta is a kind of sandwich that is stuffed with hefty layers of meat and vegetables. It also includes olives, parsley, capers, peppers and giardiniera for a quick olive salad spread.

  • Pasta Fagioli al Forno:

Pasta Fagioli al Forno is nothing but baked pasta with beans topped with tangy tomato sauce, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and creamy cheese.

  • Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce:

Prepared with butter, garlic, cream and parmesan cheese, a classic Alfredo sauce compliments each and every meal including your salads.

  • Cheesy Florentine Pasta:

A creamy cheesy parmesan sauce topped with bell peppers and spinach is the major highlight of the cheesy Florentine pasta. It is one of the soulful Italian food other than regular pizzas and pastas.

  • Sausage Arugula Pizza:

Sausage Arugula Pizza includes the nutty and fresh arugula paired with the greasy pork sausages to balance and produce the ultimate flavors. With the addition of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, Sausage Arugula pizza gets a divine savory flavor like never before.

  • Lasagna:

Lasagna is a worldwide famous baked Italian dish, prepared with pasta sheets known for its tangy flavors. But it tastes best with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese instead of mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top.

  • Polenta:

A corn mush, Polenta, pairs very well with soup, stew, salads, fritters and even the meat. It is one of the simple souls satisfying north Italian delicacies.

  • Ossobuco:

It is one of the famous meat based bone-in veal shank Italian food, which is cooked in white wine on low heat to infuse the meaty flavors. It is one of the delicacies of European countries.

  • Cicchetti:

Prepared with seafood, cod and artichokes, Cicchetti is one of the bite sized meals served exclusively at the Venetian bars, Bacaris.

  • Burrata:

Burrata is a kind of flavourful, creamy and buttery cheese that can be served on its own. It can be usually sprinkled with basil and tomatoes to toss a bowl full of salad.

  • Risotto:

A creamy Risotto is a no-fail, evergreen classic Italian dish that works in every occasion. Similar to its name, even the ingredients used are of high end luxurious quality.

  • Arancini:

Arancini are served as Italian food starters. Prepared with ragu, peas, aubergine and cheese, Arancini are specifically rice balls that increase your appetite for the main course. .

  • Fiorentina Steak:

Bistecca Fiorentina or Fiorentina Steak is the most prominent beef steak that is grilled finely on the outer, leaving the inner steak rare. Hard core meat lovers generally prefer their beef from Tuscany.

  • Focaccia:

Italian food is a lot popular for its breads. Focaccia is a beautiful bread specially made with onions, tomatoes, olives, olive oil, pesto topped with goodness and love.

  • Italian hot chocolate:

Italian hot chocolate is unlike your regular hot chocolates you have ever had. Prepared with the goodness of real dark chocolate, this Italian food will indulge you in a sweet treat.

  • Napoletana Pizza:

Owing to its name, Napoletana Pizza dates back to the 18th century, having its origin from the city of Naples. Prepared with tomatoes, basil and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, it is cooked over a wood fire.

Famous Italian Recipes of All Times

With the invention of popular Italian names, even the Italian recipes are rocking globally. Some of the most famous Italian recipes of all times include:

  1. Italian Meatball Recipe:

Italian meatball recipe uses various ground meat to be rolled up with flavors and spices only to be tossed in tomato sauce. They are generally tender and juicy and melt in mouth bursting in a flavorful experience.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: The basic ingredients that go in making Italian meatball recipe include:

  • Ground Beef
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Milk
  • Italian Breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Goes Well With: Spaghetti egg noodles, rice, corn on the cob and ratatouille

  1. Italian Seasoning Recipe:

Italian seasoning recipe is used in almost every Italian dish prepared, especially Italian pasta and Italian pizza. It comes in handy to top up your recipes with soulful and flavorful sprinkles and add spark of spices to the basic Italian food.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: The main ingredients that go in preparing the Italian seasoning recipe are:

  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried marjoram
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried basil
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried sage

Goes Well With: Spaghetti sauce, pasta salad, meatballs and seafood

  1. Italian Salad Recipe:

There is no single way to make an Italian salad recipe. It includes a variety of vegetables and methods to make one. But the basic ingredients that go in a classic Italian salad recipe remain the same. Italian salads make for a healthy, soulful and fulfilling meal when you opt to remain low on your carbs.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: The key ingredients that go in a basic Italian salad recipe include:

  • Crisp green lettuce
  • Red onions
  • Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Pepperoncini peppers
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Croutons
  • Italian vinaigrette

Goes Well With: Tuscan focaccia bread, grilled aubergine, baked polenta with parmesan cheese and buttery garlic bread

  1. Italian Cake Recipe:

Some of the famous Italian cakes and pastries include Italian ice cream cake, tiramisu, biscotti, genoise, sfogliatella, siena panforte, etc. But to start with one, you can choose to work with a simple and classic Italian cake recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 65 minutes

Ingredients: The key ingredients that go in making a classic Italian cake recipe include:

  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Eggs
  • Flaked coconut
  • Confectioner’s Sugar
  • White sugar
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Shortening
  • Light cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Vanilla extract
  • Walnuts

Goes Well With: Lasagna, Risotto alla Milanese, Italian roasted potatoes and pasta salad

  1. Italian Pizza Recipe:

Pizzas hold their origin from Italy. Usually Italian pizzas are thin crust and the pizza sauce is prepared with only fresh ingredients including garlic. Some of the famous and popular Italian pizzas include Prosciutto e funghi, capricciosa, Quattro formaggi, diavola and ortolana, etc.  

Preparation Time: 150 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: A traditional margarita Italian pizza includes the following list of ingredients:

Pizza Dough:

  • All purpose flour
  • Dry active yeast
  • Granulated sugar
  • Diamond crystal kosher salt
  • Warm water
  • Semolina
  • Corn meal
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Pizza Sauce:

  • Canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • Canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Pizza Toppings:

  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Dried red pepper flakes

Goes Well With: Italian bruschetta bar, Caesar salad, Zucchini fries and soup

  1. Italian Pasta Recipe:

One of the most commonly found Italian pasta after Spaghetti ‘aglio-e-olio’ is penne Arrabbiata. Arrabbiata in Italy means anger. That is where this pasta has derived its inspiration of spiciness from.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: The key ingredients that go in a basic Italian penne Arrabbiata include:


  • Penne rigate pasta

Arrabbiata Sauce:

  • Garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper


  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Grated pecorino cheese

Goes Well With: Roasted asparagus, Cheesy garlic bread, mashed potatoes and tomato salad

Italian Sausage: How to Cook Italian Sausage

Sausages are generally made of pork meat. Unlike regular meat, pork meat has a slightly different method of cooking. They are usually cooked to 160 degree Fahrenheit and include a slower cooking process.

You can either opt to cook your sausages on a stove top or in an oven or you can preferably grill them according to your liking. But make sure not to pierce its outer skin to maintain its juices intact.

The basic steps to cook sausages over a stovetop include:

  • Place the links in water in a skillet
  • Get the links to boil
  • Cover and allow them to simmer for approx 10 minutes
  • Uncover the skillet
  • Evaporate the water
  • Cook the links until brown evenly

Italian Cook Book: A Reservoir of Italian Recipes

If you are craving for Italian recipes, you can simply surf the internet as there are a plethora of Italian cook books available in PDF format to be saved and accessed as per your Italian food needs.

There are many free Italian cookbooks and recipes available across the internet. You can use SwifDoo PDF Reader to open and read them. You can even use SwifDoo PDF software to print out the Italian food recipes list and make a kitchen book.

With the help of the SwifDoo PDF, you can create your own Italian cookbook PDF to save in your library. Simply club your favorite recipes of Italian food and create a customized PDF recipe book to access at your own Italian needs.

Wrap Up

Italian food is all about fun, enjoyment and delicacies. From savories to sweets, Italy happens to ace almost all the foods. No wonder why Italian pizza, pastas and wine find a place in every occasion and celebration around the globe. Having known some of the popular Italian food recipes already, you can head towards your kitchens now to grab the ingredients and dwell in one of the most beautiful and scrumptious Italian culture, i.e. Italian food.



Kate is a professional translator from Quebec, Canada. French and English are both her native languages.She has been long time worked with data recovery,partition manager software companies.She has written and translated a huge number of software content in English and French. Kate is now working at SwifDoo Software as a columnist for writing PDF software content.

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