If you love Italian food, did you know there are more dishes available than pasta and pizza? Italian food is incredibly popular right across the globe but some of the most delicious dishes haven’t made the spotlight quite like pizza and pasta. Here are some of the lesser known but equally deserving delicacies from Italy:
- Carciofi alla Romana
Translated as Roman Artichokes, these tasty treats come into season in the spring and are hugely popular in the capital. The artichokes are washed, cut and prepared so that almost all of the plant is used minus the thorns and leaves. They are then soaked in lemon juice and filled with salt, herbs, pepper and garlic. After this, the artichokes are braised with white wine and water, sprinkled with a dash of olive oil and served.
This dish originates from Medieval times and is known as ‘poor man’s food’. It consists of a soup made from leftover beans, vegetables and bread. It is thought to have originated from the servants preparing meals from leftovers from the master’s table. Ribollita means re-boiled and it has become a hearty, winter-warming favourite in areas such as Tuscany.
- Osso Buco alla Milanese
A dish from Milan, it is now a favourite all over the country. Veal shanks are braised slowly in garlic and white wine then served alongside seasonal vegetables. The beauty of this dish is the meat is so tender it requires no real cutting with a knife. Modern variations of the dish include making it with tomato sauce, but the original dish does not contain tomato. If this has made you hungry for some fine Italian dining, then head to http://www.toscanarestaurant.ie/ for an excellent Dublin Italian Restaurant
These are a delicacy found in the south and in Sicily and consist of rice balls which have been stuffed with a thick meat and tomato sauce (ragu), peas and mozzarella. The balls are then rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried. The great thing about arancini is the huge variation found throughout the south. They come in numerous different sizes, shapes and filling combinations.
- Tortellini en Brodo
In northern Italy, this dish is a common sight on the dinner table. We are used to seeing tortellini smothered in a thick, creamy sauce but this dish serves the tortellini in a basic chicken broth. The delicious dish also contains veal and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and is sprinkled with Parmesan. Once you’ve tried tortellini this way, you’ll never look back.
The region of Livorno boasts one of the most fantastic fish dishes you’re ever likely to encounter. It’s a seafood stew with a real zing that was traditionally made by local fishmongers with the day’s unsold catch. The stew could contain monkfish, octopus, shellfish or squid which is cooked in a chili and tomato broth. The broth is seasoned using garlic and sage with the stew then being served alongside fresh crusty bread to mopping up the bowl.