PIZZA From Italy

by Jon
(Australia)

My best Italian recipe? What a question, it has to be pizza, no Italian dish is quite so versatile, famous or fabulous. It can't be any old pizza though.


Forget about those horrible deep pan things that have nothing to do with the real pizza from Italy. Forget too those horrible Hawaiian and other weird and wonderful things masquerading as pizza.

Pizza margherita and things like the four season pizza on a thin base in a proper pizza oven.

I have had some of my best meals ever eating pizza with a glass of red wine in little pizzeria throughout Italy, somehow pizza back home never tastes so good.

Maria's reply: I too love pizza and it is probably, together with pasta, the best known of all Italy's culinary delights. The thing is there is so very much more to Italian cuisine and so many other delicious dishes that I wouldn't include pizza in my top twenty Italian dishes.


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Bucatini al nero di seppia

by Bev
(Northern Virginia, USA)

This is black pasta made with squid ink. I had it my first trip to Venice and I can still taste it. The sauce is tomato based with onion and garlic of course and with fish trim. I attempted to replicate it and came close.

1) saute onion and garlic

2) add tomatoes and simmer till thick

3) add the pieces of fish, preferably firm fleshed white fish (some chunks, some literally trim)

4) adjust seasonings and add a small handful of minced flat leafed parsley.

I like the dish because the fish takes on a sweetness which is a good balance to the earthy tasting pasta, and it is not your everyday pasta. A 'forte' northern italian white wine is a good go-with.

Maria's reply: Thank you so much for the lovely recipe. I know a similar recipe and it is certainly delicious, variations of this dish are common not just in Veneto but in nearly all the coastal regions of Italy.

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Risotto

Risotto is quintessentially Italian and lends itself to so many variations

Maria's reply: You are 100% correct, Risotto has to be one of the best Italian recipes. Anywhere in the north of Italy from Piedmont to Veneto it is popular and there are literally hundred of different recipes for risotto.

Virtually all of the rice used in making risotto in Italy comes from the Piedmont region which is where I lived for nearly ten years. Unbelievably, despite having lived in the heart of risotto land so to speak, for so long I completely forgot about it and I am so glad you mentioned it.

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Lasagna is Best

by Cheryl
(Cape Town)

I agree with you about Lasagna. I love it, the recipe on your site is delicious but I do tend to prefer a vegetarian lasagna. I always thought lasagna was from Venice but after you said it isn't I went and checked it and see it is from Emilia Romagna.

Ravioli is my number two.

I must really complement you on the Beef Brasato recipe on your other site , it is a fantastic dish and it too should be in the top ten.

Pizza is about number ten for me.

Maria's reply: The beef brasato recipe is great. Ravioli is not in my top twenty. I prefer agnolotti which is very similar to ravioli but much nicer, agnolotti comes from the Piedmont region of Italy and it is best served in a wild boar broth and followed, if you are lucky, by the wild boar nicely roasted.

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