History Italian cuisine has evolved over the centuries. It has been influenced by different factors such as: neighboring regions, conquerors, political changes and the discovery of the New World which has brought new products into our country. Italian cuisine
Each area has its own specialties, primarily at regional level, but also at provincial level. The differences dependn on the geographical position, whether a region is close to the sea or the mountains, and on economics factors. Italian cuisine is also seasonal with priority placed on the use of fresh ingredients. Regional cuisines
<ul><li>We have a diversity of regional dishes so Italian cousine can be devided into three different areas: </li></ul>
Northern Italian cuisine is characterized by the use of butter (or lard), rice, corn (for polenta) and cheese for creamy sauces. In general it is preferred to use fat ingredients to make the typical recipes such as “polenta e osei”(small birds), the famous risotti like “Risotto alla milanese” (with saffron), Risi and Bisi (Rice with beans) In this part of Italy, seafood and shellfish are very popular too, as lakes, rivers and streams provide carp, trout and other types of fish to make delicious seafood recipes. The north
<ul><li>Much of what the rest of the world considers Italian food is from the central regions of Italy. This area is world famous for its specialties such as its smooth olive oil, cheeses, cold meats (row ham) and rich tomato sauce. </li></ul>The centre
Some of the typical recipes of this area are: “Bucatini all'amatriciana” pasta with tomato, onion, bacon and a dash of cognac;spaghetti alIa carbonara with a creamy egg and cheese sauce dusted with black pepper. Meat dishes include Abbacchio al forno (roast lamb) and fiorentina beef steak. Favourite vegetable dishes include artichokes (carciofi) alIa Giudea (Jewish style) or alla Romana - cooked in oil with garlic and parsley. (Jewish ghetto in Rome)
<ul><li>Bruschetta is another delicious very simple dish. It is made of toasted bread with tomato, garlic and olive oil. </li></ul><ul><li>Panzanella is another way to prepare bruschetta as you can see from the picture. </li></ul>
<ul><li>From pizza to the countless types of dried and fresh pasta, the food of the south is the soul of Italy. Here you will find rich and spicy tomato sauces and the almost exclusive use of olive oil in cooking. In fact some of the best olive oil comes from the southern part of Italy. </li></ul>The south
Our island Sicily is rich in fruit and vegetables : lemons, blood oranges, tangerines, olives, almonds. Caponata is an antipasto or starter made with aubergines, olives, capers and celery. Ceci or chick peas have played an important role in Sicilian history and are well represented in the diet. Panella is a fritter made of chickpea flour. It’s popular street food in Palermo and is often eaten in a bread roll. Panelle are believed to be of Arabic origin.
<ul><li>Other typical “street” snacks are sfinciune , a kind of pizza topped with tomato, anchovies and onion, and pani c'a meusa , a sandwich filled with calf spleen and lung cut in small pieces. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Pasta is an everday meal in Sicily and often served with a rich spicy tomato sauce and sea food. Sicily loves seafood with popular dishes including grilled swordfish , finocchio con le Sarde (fennel with sardines) and seppia (cuttlefish) served in its own black sauce with pasta. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Arancini di riso </li></ul><ul><li>The Arancini di riso are fried balls of rice stuffed with meat and cheese. </li></ul><ul><li>Here’s the recipe: </li></ul><ul><li>Cook the rice, then add saffron and stir, put then 125 grams of butter, 3 beaten eggs, mix and let it cool. Meanwhile, fry the onion finely chopped, add meat, peeled tomatoes, salt, pepper and cook it over low heat. Boil the peas, drain and fry in remaining butter. When the sauce is ready add to it the peas and mix well. Take a little mixture of rice, forming a ball. Make a little hole in the rice ball, and put the filling in it. Cover it with more rice, rub the croquettes in flour, eggs beaten with salt, then in breadcrumbs and deep fry in oil. Other types of Arancini are stuffed with dark chocolate or ham and mozzarella cheese, or ham and bechamelle sauce. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Sicilian cuisine is also a triumph of delicious, mouth-watering, traditional desserts: the famous cassata, which is complicated to make and delicious to eat, made with some of the main ingredients of the local patisserie art such as ricotta cheese, candied fruit and almonds. </li></ul>Typical Sicilian desserts
<ul><li>Cannoli, (plural) in Sicilian, are Sicilian pastry desserts . The singular is cannolo (or in the Sicilian language cannolu ), meaning “little tube”. </li></ul><ul><li>Cannoli consist of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough , filled with a sweet, creamy filling, usually containing ricotta cheese and candied fruit. </li></ul>Marzipan is another dessert that you must try. It is made of almond pastry, colorful and impressive to see, bursting with calories, shaped in different types of fruit, vegetables and other fanciful and bizzarre forms.