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Italian food: recipes for typical dishes and desserts

Italian recipes are a reflection of the regional diversity and gastronomic culture of Italy, as well as its long history. The ingredients used are included in the popular Mediterranean diet, which makes Italian dishes imitated throughout the world, mainly for their unique flavors.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Antipasto

The term antipasto, whose plural is antipasti, literally means before the main dish (anti means previous and pasto equals food).

Therefore, as its name indicates, the antipasti they are what is known as starters, that is, the dishes that go before the first and second dishes. These types of meals are usually served cold, although there are also hot ones.

This custom is explained through the history of Italian food: it is already at the time of the Italian Renaissance (14th century) and its objective was (and still is) to open the appetite to diners in large banquets with dishes that could be both salty and sweet. Here are the main ones antipasti.

Panzerotti

This appetizer, which is also known under the name of panzerotto, is original from the Puglia region, located in southern Italy. It is a dough made from wheat flour mixed with beer yeast and pork fat.

Panzerotti or Panzerotto

It is similar to the empanadillas so popular among Spanish tapas, since this dough is filled with natural tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. The dough is sealed and then fried with pork fat. The final texture is crispy.

Caprese salad

It is one of the typical Italian salads and is also known simply under the name caprese, because it comes from the Capri region, it has the following basic ingredients: tomato slices and fresh mozzarella balls. It is always accompanied by some fresh basil leaves, specifically of the large leaf variety, and olive oil.

There are also variants that add ground black pepper and black olives or even grated cheese in addition to mozzarella balls. This dish stands out especially because the colors of its ingredients resemble the colors of the Italian flag: red, white and green.

Caprese salad

Carpaccio

Carpaccio is a very versatile entree in the sense that it can be made with different ingredients, either meat or fish. This is another typical Italian food famous internationally.

The basic rule for making a carpaccio dish is to cut the meat or fish into thin slices and accompany it with other ingredients such as cheese, onion slices, some basil leaves and olive oil. When meat is used, the most used is veal; On the other hand, when we talk about fish, salmon is very recurrent.

Arancini

In singular ariancino, this appetizer is original from the region of Sicily, specifically from the city of Messina, where they are known by the name of arancinu or arancina.

They are a kind of spherical croquettes made of rice paste and parmesan or pecorino cheese and eggs. They are fried in very hot olive oil, although they can also be baked in the oven. The filling may contain various ingredients, namely: tomato sauce, peas, cooked ham, mozzarella …

Its color is slightly orange because saffron is used for its elaboration. There is a variant in Catania called arancini alla norma or there catanese, whose main ingredient is eggplant. In Bronte, they find pistachios.

Vitello Tonnato

This dish is original from the region of Piedmont, where it is given the name of vitel tonné in Piedmontese. It is also popular in those areas of Argentina, Uruguay and other countries where Italian communities live together.

It consists of beef loins that are accompanied with a sauce that is made from hard-boiled egg yolks, tuna and cream, as well as anchovies. Capers are also usually added, but this ingredient is optional. Usually, it is taken cold and as an entree or antipasto.

Vitello Tonnato

Bresaola

East antipasto or incoming consists of slices of veal cured (two or three months), which is known as dried meat or dehydrated meat. Once cured, veal acquires a purple color.

This dish is original from the Lombardy region, specifically from the Valtellina Valley, located in northern Italy. It is seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice.

Prosciutto

The term prosciutto literally means Ham And it is that this dish is nothing other than the classic slices of ham that are also traditionally served in Spain as tapas or entremés. It is characterized because it is cut into very thin, almost transparent slices.

It is served without cooking, so in Italy it is known as raw prosciutto; instead, when it is cooked it is called prosciutto cotto. The most valuable pieces of prosciutto and considered as a gastronomic luxury are those from northern and central Italy, especially from Parma, San Daniele and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Salami

East sausage, which is currently very popular in other countries such as Spain, is, in fact, originally from Italy and also from Hungary. It is a type of sausage that results from the mixture of several beef and pork seasoned and, later, smoked. It is similar to sausage, except that this one in Italy is seasoned with garlic.

In Italian, the word salamiwhose plural is salamiliterally means salted sausage, because its flavor is, indeed, salty, because salt is used for its elaboration.

Bruschetta

The bruschetta is another very popular and traditional antipasto of central Italy. Its preparation is very simple, since it consists of several slices of toasted bread in which garlic is rubbed and then roasted in a special oven called brustolina So they are golden.

Once this is done, olive oil, ground paprika and salt are added, although these ingredients may vary depending on the region or area where they are prepared, since it is an appetizer open to each one’s imagination.

Cheese, tomato and other vegetables cut into small dice are also added, such as peppers, carrots, sweet corn, onion … In the region of Tuscany, this dish is called fettuntawhose literal meaning is slice in oil.

Eggplants parmigiana

The parmesan eggplant antipasto or parmigiana di melanzane It is a dish from the region of Campania, south of Italy.

As its own name indicates, the main ingredient of this dish are eggplants (melanzana in Italian) cut into slices about 0.5cm thick, which are fried and accompanied by grated Parmesan cheese (in Italian, Parmigiano-Reggiano), egg, tomato sauce and some basil leaves.

Parmigiana di melanzane or eggplant parmesan

They are grilled, although if you want to get a less caloric dish you can also cook in the oven. The disposition of eggplant slices It is similar to lasagna, since they are layered, just like pasta sheets.

There are different variants of this dish; Thus, for example, the Neapolitan variant replaces Parmesan cheese with mozzarella cheese; on the other hand, in Sicily and Apulia, cured sheep cheese is used (cheese pecorino).

Another variant is the one made with zapallos, a dish that is known as Stuffed zucchini and it is also very popular in the kitchen of Argentina.

Burrata Cheese

Burrata cheese or simply burrata It is a very typical fresh cheese cream in Italy, whose name is derived from the term donkey, What is it Butter in Italian language, and this cheese is very buttery.

Burrata Cheese

It is made with Cow milk fresh and obtained as follows: first the curd is separated from the whey; afterwards, the whey is heated and, once the curd has come into contact with the whey, it is spun, that is, the cheese becomes elastic in texture.

This process is also done for the preparation of fresh mozzarella cheese, but the difference between both types of cheese is that mozzarella is made with buffalo milk. The burrata looks like a sack, because it is filled with a mixture called stracciatella, which is obtained by mixing the spun paste with milk cream.

The texture of this cheese is creamy and is usually served together with tomato slices and toasted bread.

Pasta

Pasta is the basic pillar of Italian cuisine and there is a wide range of types of pasta, each with a different shape. Usually, pasta is always served accompanied by some sauce and always seasoned with spices such as oregano or basil.

Meals with Italian pastas are included as a first course within the typical structure of an Italian food menu, that is, as il cousin (Italian main dishes), after l’antipasto. Among the main names of Italian pastas we highlight those mentioned below.

Lasagna

The Lasagna It is a variety of pasta in the form of square foil. This dish consists of several of these interleaved sheets to form a block. Between each sheet is added a filling that can be meat, fish or vegetables and that is mixed with a typical sauce, usually Bolognese.

Lasagna Bolognese

The ingredient that is never lacking in a good lasagna is bechamel. It is traditional to cook in the oven, so in Italy it is usually called lasagna al forno. The term Lasagna comes from latin lasanum and, in reality, it refers to the container that was once used to cook it.

cannelloni

To make cannelloni (cannelloni in Italian) the same sheets are used as for the lasagna, the difference is that instead of inserting the sheets in layers, they are rolled.

The end result is a kind of cylindrical roll, hence they are called cannelloni. This dish is currently consumed more in Catalonia (Spain) than in Italy itself.

Ravioli

Raviol It is a word derived from Latin rabiole and means kind of delight. Thus, any type of stuffed pasta is a variety of raviolo (ravioli in plural).

So, the famous tortellini, agnolotti, anolini, casoncelli, cappelletti, pansotti, sorrentino and a long etcetera are types of ravioli.

The ingredients that are usually filled are varied and open to the imagination of those who prepare them, but cheeses, meats, vegetables or even fish, such as tuna or salmon, are common.

Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle means in italian noodles and it is an elongated and flattened type of pasta from which different varieties are derived, each with a different width. The noodles in Italy are part of a group of pasta called paste asciute, that is, dried pasta.

For their preparation they should be boiled in water, usually about 10 minutes. Then, drain and add olive oil and some typical Italian sauce (Bolognese, carbonara, pesto …) and spices such as oregano or basil.

Tagliatelle or noodles

In fact, they are similar to the noodles of Chinese cuisine, but they differ in that the flour used for Chinese noodles is rice or soybeans, and that used for tagliatelle of Italy is wheat.

Spaghetti

Spaghetti is the plural of the term spaghetto and has adapted to Spanish as spaghetti. The meaning of spaghetto is cord and it is derived from the shape of this type of paste: elongated and thin, like a “rope”, of circular section, unlike noodles, whose shape is flattened.

Like tagliatelle, they are also common in Chinese cuisine; For example, rice noodles are similar. Like the other types of pasta, they are cooked and then served with a sauce.

Spaghetti or Spaghetti

Macaroni

In Italian maccheroni, macaroni are a kind of hollow tubes inside and elongated. The etymology of the word macaroon takes us to the Greek term makárioswhose meaning is happy.

Its origin dates back to the time of the Mezzogiorno in Italy and they were introduced in the country due to the migratory movements so frequent in Italy during that time. The spread of macaroni around the world has expanded so much that they are now part of the weekly diet of almost all Spanish families, for example.

Rices

In Italian, rice It is said that laugh and from there derives the term Risotto which, contrary to what is popularly thought, refers to all the typical dishes of Italy whose base ingredient is rice in the cuisine of Italy.

Risotto is especially popular in Piedmont, in Verona and west of Lombardy, since in these regions the cultivation of rice is common. This dish always consists of rice, Parmesan and some other ingredient, which can be some vegetable or some kind of meat or fish. Thus, below we list the most common types of risotto:

Risotto alla milanese

This type of rice is originally from Milan and the ingredient that is used is the saffron, so the dish has a yellowish color.

Risotto alla milanese or risotto allo zafferano

Risotto al radicchio

The radicchio risotto is prepared with Lombard salad, whose main ingredient is red cabbage. Hence the color of this type of risotto is reddish.

Risotto al radicchio

Risotto ai funghi

The risotto ai funghi is probably the most popular type of risotto and the one that has crossed borders. Many people think of him risotto ai funghi When he talks about risotto. This variant carries mushrooms.

Risotto ai funghi

Risotto alla zucca

This type of risotto carries pieces of pumpkin, which makes its flavor a mixture of contrasts, since the salty taste of rice intermingles with the slightly sweet taste of pumpkin. It is traditional to serve it within the pumpkin itself, which in turn enhances the flavor.

Risotto alla zucca

Risotto alle zucchine

He risotto alle zucchine It is similar to risotto alla zucca, except that it is prepared with zucchini. It is important to use fresh zucchini for its elaboration; otherwise, the end result may be somewhat tasteless. Given the amount of vitamins that zucchini possesses, this dish is highly healthy.

Risotto alle zucchine

Risotto alla salsiccia

He risotto alla salsiccia, unlike the risottos mentioned above, it is prepared with meat, usually with a type of typical Italian sausage or with sausages.

Risotto alla salsiccia

Risotto agli spinaci

This risotto is made with spinach, hence its color is greenish. This risotto, like everyone else, has Parmesan cheese. In addition, it is usual to add a chilli pepper, so that it acquires a spicy touch. Onion is also added.

Risotto agli spinaci

Risotto ai frutti di mare

He risotto ai frutti di mare It is made with seafood. Among the seafood that usually includes, mussels, fresh clams or squid, among others. For cooking rice, fish stock should be used, so that we will enhance the seafood flavor.

Risotto ai frutti di mare

Risotto alla asparagi

For the preparation of this risotto variant, they are used green asparagus. You can also use goat cheese instead of Parmesan cheese.

Risotto alla asparagi

Soups

The use of varied vegetables is very common in most Italian soups, as we will see below. Pasta can also be eaten accompanied by a broth and accompanied by meat such as chicken, among others.

Minestra maritata

This dish consists of a soup that is also known as italian wedding soup, since the name in Italian literally means marriage soup, although this does not mean that it is related to weddings.

The use of the concept of marriage comes from the fact that the main ingredients of this dish, meat and vegetables, are first cooked separately and, to be served, they are put together, that is, they are “married”.

Minestra maritata

The broth of this soup can be beef or chicken meat and, as for vegetables, these always include parsley. Also included are chard, spinach, kale, cabbage …

Minestrone

This is the most famous Italian soup internationally. It is prepared with tomato and a great diversity of vegetables, as well as legumes and macaroni. The recipe for this soup varies by region; in this way, the coastal towns prepare it with seafood and fish; instead, the interior regions add meats and sausages.

Fagioli pasta

The soup called fagioli pasta usually served as antipasto or entree in most Italian restaurants. It contains beans (fajioli in Italian), which must be of high quality. This soup is suitable for vegetarians, although it is true that there are versions in which ham or bacon is included.

Fagioli Pasta

Pizzas

Pizza, with all its varieties and accessories, is undoubtedly the most popular dish not only in Italy, but in much of the world, and the variety of textures and contents that can be included in its preparation make it an ideal dish for be adapted to other cultures, mainly for its ability to fuse different ingredients.

The most traditional pizza is based on a flat baked bread, which is made from wheat flour, water, salt and yeast, which is covered with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. From there, the rest of the ingredients go to taste and are open to the imagination of each diner.

Italian pizzas

Thus, there are many pizza recipes, whether meat, vegetables, different cheeses, fish … The range of possibilities is very wide; However, here we give you the names of traditional Italian pizzas:

  • Marinara Pizza: its ingredients are tomato slices and oregano.
  • Margarita pizza: This pizza also includes tomato slices, as well as mozzarella cheese balls.
  • Neapolitan pizza: Includes the same ingredients as margarita pizza, but also oregano and basilic are added.
  • Spring pizza: its characteristic ingredients are olives and artichokes.
  • Four Seasons Pizza: the quattro stagioni pizza It includes characteristic ingredients of each time of the year. Thus, by spring it includes olives and artichokes; representing vernao, salami and pepper are included; autumn is reflected through tomato and mozzarella; Winter, finally, is shown through mushrooms and boiled egg.
  • four cheese pizza: As its name suggests, this pizza includes four different types of cheese, which are usually mozzarella cheese, blue cheese, provolone cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Focaccia

Focaccia is very similar to pizza, but it differs in the type of bread used. This consists of a dough that is made from flour, oil, salt, water and yeast and also has a high gluten content.

"FocacciaThis base is covered with various herbs and spices, such as rosemary, which gives it a very characteristic flavor. The traditional specialty of focaccia comes from the region of Genoa, specifically from Recco.

Calzone

The calzone is an original type of pizza from Naples and, therefore, it is similar to Neapolitan pizza in terms of the ingredients it includes. It is also baked in the oven, but it differs from pizza in that it is a closed dough and stuffed with cheese (mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan …), minced or ground meat, vegetables …

When the dough is closed, the aroma of its ingredients is enhanced during the cooking process. It is served hot and is usually accompanied by marinara sauce, which consists of tomato sauce seasoned with basil. This dish is also usually consumed in Argentina.

Panini

The panino (panini plural) is a variant of pizza that constitutes a mixture between pizza and sandwich. The panini are made in a similar way to pizza, that is, on a loaf of bread, the ingredients are added, among which there is no lack of tomato and cheese in the base, and they are baked.

The bread used is usually the rustic bread of medium size, specifically in Italy, either a ciabatta (white bread made with very young wheat flour) or a rosette. Panini are always eaten hot and roasted, which makes them usually receive the colloquial name of toast (English language term that means toast).

Typical Italian Meat

The best Italian foods are listed in this section and are those that are considered main dishes of the day or main dishes in Italy, as are pizza, pasta, soups and those mentioned above.

Ossobuco

It is a traditional dish from Milan that has been gaining fame since the 20th century until now. Osso buco literally means hollow bone and it is that it is a stew or stew made with a jar of veal cut into thick slices and without bone.

The most normal is to be served with risotto alla milanese. To make the stew, white wine is used and, a few minutes before it is finished cooking, add tomato sauce and some vegetables such as carrots, onions…

Bistecca alla fiorentina

This meat dish is originally from Tuscany. Chianina beef or beef tenderloin is used. The steak is characterized by being very thick and being left without bone.

It is tradition to prepare it on the grill with charcoal embers, so that the internal part is raw. Once cooked, olive oil, ground black pepper, chianti wine and other spices are added to taste. It is served accompanied by Tuscan beans or lemon slices.

Bistecca alla fiorentina

Bollito misto alla piemontese

He misto bollito It is a typical dish of northern Italy, specifically Piedmont, similar to Pot-au-feu of French gastronomy. This dish is considered a classic in Italian cuisine and is taken at celebrations and special events.

It consists of boiled mixed meats that are cooked in the form of stew or stew and are served with some vegetables, such as carrots, celery, onions, garlic … As for meat, pieces of different parts of each animal are usually taken.

Bollito misto alla Piemontese

Piccata

The term piccata It is actually a generic and very frequent term when we talk about Italian cuisine, since it consists of a kind of mincemeat or sauteed sauce that always includes a sauce made from lemon juice, butter and different spices.

This hash is applied to meat and fish, although chicken piccata is especially common. In addition, the dish is always accompanied by rice or pasta, as well as tofu in vegetarian variants.

Chicken piccata

Sauces

It would be difficult to imagine an Italian pasta dish without it being accompanied by some sauce and it is that the cuisine of Italy is characterized precisely by the sauces that include its dishes, which give them a strong and unique flavor.

There are lighter and more consistent ones, but each one has a very characteristic flavor. Below we show you the main Italian sauces.

Pomodoro sauce

Pomodoro sauce is a very simple sauce to prepare, since it basically consists of Crushed tomato along with other ingredients such as onions, basil, salt, oil, various spices and garlic.

Pomodoro sauce

Other vegetables such as peppers can also be included and during its preparation a touch of sugar is added to eliminate the strong acid taste of tomato. This sauce is, in turn, the origin of the Bolognese sauce that we talked about below and is also the one that is spread as a base in all pizzas.

Pesto sauce

Although it is not the only ingredient that makes this sauce so special, it is true that the basil It forms the unmistakable flavor of this sauce.

Pesto sauce

The term pesto comes from the verb I will weighwhose meaning is smash or Crush and comes from the fact that this sauce is made with a mortar, given that all its ingredients are crushed.

In addition to basil, other ingredients that can not be missing are: pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic and salt.

Carbonara sauce

The combination carbonara sauce is used to eat pasta and is characterized by the strong flavor that one of its star ingredients provides: bacon Cut into small dice.

Carbonara sauce

In addition, it is used cream for cooking, parmesan cheese, onion and in some cases mushrooms. Cream and cheese provide this sauce with a thick texture. Finally, a touch of ground black pepper is added, as well as oregano or basil to taste.

Bolognese sauce

Bolognese sauce is one of the heaviest sauces of Italian cuisine, mainly because it includes mince. In addition, you can not miss the crushed tomato (pomodoro sauce) and onion, as well as different spices, including oregano.

Although this sauce has gone around the world and several brands have marketed it, it is originally from Bologna, hence its name.

Bolognese sauce

Puttanesca sauce

Puttanesca sauce is the result of combining anchovies with capers, parsley, garlic and black olives. In addition, it gives a spicy touch thanks to the use of chilli, although this is optional and can be replaced by pepper.

It is prepared by putting olive oil in a frying pan and then frying the garlic, onion, anchovies and olives, as well as the tomato sauce and the rest of the ingredients. Keep it in the frying pan until it acquires a thick and homogeneous texture. Like the Bolognese sauce, this sauce is considered heavy and quite calorific.

Salsa puttanesca

Desserts and Sweets

The traditional desserts and sweets of Italy have a long history. It is estimated that the first were based on bread with honey or fruit, since sugar was originally a luxury good. Today, typical Italian desserts vary by region, although they have all acquired worldwide fame to a greater or lesser extent.

Amaretti

The term amaretti (in singular amaretto, which means bitter in Italian) designates a type of biscuit that can be found in any region of Italy.

They are made with german dough, which includes the following ingredients: sugar, sweet and bitter almonds, egg whites and apricot kernels. Optionally, it is also possible to use spices, honey, milk, yeast and some preservatives.

Amaretti

This sweet is also popular in French cuisine, especially in Lorraine and the Atlantic Pyrenees, as well as in Argentina. However, this dessert is of Arab origin.

Babà

The babà al ron is a typical sweet from Naples, although it is also very popular in France. It is a kind of brioche made with dough enriched with egg and butter.

Once baked, this dough is drunk with rum syrup or other liquor, such as limoncello. Today, its shape is similar to that of a champagne bottle stopper, but the traditional recipe was prepared with a mold that was shaped like a crown.

Canestrelli

They are another type of biscuits that, although they are especially popular in Piedmont and Liguria, can really be found in any area of Italy.

It is estimated that the origin of this sweet dates back to the Middle Ages, when they were called nebula and served at special events, such as weddings, baptisms, carnivals or religious celebrations.

To make it you need eggs, flour, sugar, butter, corn starch, vanilla and grated lemon. They are served covered with icing sugar.

Cannoli

The cannoli (singular cannolo) are another of the star desserts of Italian pastrymaking, although originally they come from Sicily, a region where they are served on special occasions.

They are cylindrical rolls made with flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, egg yolks and red wine. These ingredients are mixed until a compact dough is obtained from which we obtain small circular doughs that we later fry until their colour turns golden-brown.

Once the cover is made, it is filled with pastry cream seasoned with a touch of cinnamon, ricotta cheese and ground nuts.

Cantuccini

This sweet is also known as cantucci or biscotti di Prato and is original from Tuscany, specifically from Prato, hence the latter denomination. It consists of an almond sponge cake whose production process is characteristic.

Cantuccini

First the whole cake is baked and when it is almost done, it is taken out of the oven, cut into slices and put back in until it is done. Its name in Italian bis-cotto it means cooked twice due to this cooking technique. The first recipe for cantucci dates from the 18th century.

Cartellate

These are typical Christmas sweets, originally from the province of Foggia, although they are also very popular in Puglia and Basilicata. Their name comes from the term “carta oleata“, which is a type of kitchen paper used in ancient times and is characterized by its thinness, as is the dough of these sweets, which is made with flour, white wine and oil.

The dough is shaped like a rose and finally fried in plenty of oil and served impregnated with hot vincotto, chocolate fondue or honey and sprinkled with cinnamon, icing sugar or coloured decorations.

Cassata

The cassata is an original dessert from Sicily. Its ingredients are: ricotta cheese, granulated sugar and icing sugar, typical Italian candied fruits, sponge cake and marzipan.

The original recipe is simple, but nowadays there are several variants at regional level that can include from pistachios and pine nuts to chocolate, cinnamon or orange blossom aroma.

Castagnaccio

This chestnut flour cake is traditional in Tuscany, Piedmont, Emilia and Liguria and locally is also called baldino, patona or ghrighio. It is usually eaten in autumn.

CastagnaccioIn addition to the chestnut flour, the dough is made with other ingredients: water, olive oil, pine nuts, sultanas, etc. There are also local variations in which rosemary, orange peels, nuts, ricotta cheese, honey, etc. have been included.

Colomba pasquale

The colomba pasquale or colomba di Pasqua is, as its name suggests, a common Easter sweet. The origin of this sweet dates back to the time of King Alboino of Lombardy, who was granted a kind of sweet bread in the shape of a dove during the siege of Pavia as a symbol of peace.

The original recipe for its dough is prepared with flour, sugar, butter, eggs, candied orange zest and almond icing.

Colomba pasquale o colomba di Pasqua

Crostata

It is a cake that consists of a dough whose doubles are folded so that it is like a lid and is filled with jam, which can be cherry, strawberry, peach or apricot, among other flavors.

It is also possible to fill it with pieces of fresh fruit and/or custard, in which case the name given to it is torta di frutta. Another variant is the so-called crostata di ricotta, in which jam is mixed with ricotta cheese and pieces of cocoa or anisette. It is also a very popular dessert in Argentina.

Crostata

Frutta martorana

This sweet is very similar to marzipan and, in fact, is also called Sicilian marzipan. Its origin is actually Arabic and the main ingredients are sugar and almonds.

Frutta martorana

Originally they go back to the old Martorana convent in Palermo, where the nuns replaced fruit (oranges, lemons, tangerines…) with marzipan in the shape and colours of each fruit to decorate the convent’s garden. For its preparation it is necessary to use colorants of different colors.

Gelato italiano

The gelato is the ice cream produced especially during the hot summer months. The difference with the usual ice cream lies in the fact that the production process of the Italian version is completely handmade and is produced in large quantities.

In addition, another important difference is the amount of air that each one contains; thus, while normal ice cream contains 40% air, Italian gelato never contains more than 10%. For this reason, Italian gelato is very creamy.

Gelato italiano

On the other hand, the gelato contains more than 10% less fat than normal ice cream, because it is prepared with natural ingredients. The usual flavours are those that come from Italy: tiramisu, lime, frutti di bosco, cappuccino, nocciola…

Merengue

Merengue is also a very common dessert in Spanish pastry making, where it can be found in different colours. It is made with beaten egg white and sugar, as well as vanilla, coconut or almond flavours. Its flavor is very sweet and is often used as a filling for cakes or pies. The texture to the touch is soft, but can also be found hard if baked.

Panettone

The classic panettone is a typical Christmas cake that has crossed borders in recent years and has become indispensable for the Spanish Christmas as well. Its preparation process is not simple and requires up to two days to be ready.

The original recipe includes sourdough to make it, but it can also be made with baker’s yeast. Before starting to prepare the actual bun, the ingredients must be mixed and left to ferment overnight at room temperature.

For this ferment, little yeast should be used so that the dough rises very slowly, so that the intensity of the flavours will be much greater.

Panforte

The Italian panforte is similar to the German dessert called Nürnberger Lebkuchen. This dessert, like the panettone, is typical of Christmas, but nowadays it can be eaten at any time of the year.

Originally, it was called panpepato, because the original recipe included pepper. This sweet was born in the city of Siena. Among the ingredients that characterize it are dried figs and candied fruits as well as honey and chocolate powder.

Panna cotta

Although similar, panna cotta is not a jelly. This dessert, so traditional in Italy, is prepared with milk cream, sugar and gelling agents, from which a dough similar to flan is obtained, but whose texture and flavor differ greatly.

Basically, panna cotta tastes like milk. To this kind of gelatine, forest fruit jam is added.

Panna cotta

Sfogliatelle

These sweets are made from ricotta and semolina flaky dough and originate in Naples, although they are actually of Arab origin. It consists of many layers of this puff pastry rolled up and filled with almond paste.

The shape given to each of these sweets can only be achieved by making them by hand. They have a crunchy texture and are available in different sizes. The original name is sfogliatella riccia di Napole.

Tiramisù

Tiramisu is a cake that consists of several layers mounted on top of each other. The ingredient that can never be missing in this dessert is coffee, which is added in each layer along with a cream made of beaten eggs and sugar, and a touch of Amaretto liqueur can be added to intensify the flavor.

Finally, cocoa powder is sprinkled on top. The base of the tiramisu can be made with biscuits, sponge cake or Savoiardi (sunflower biscuits). Cheese is also used in its preparation, specifically mascarpone, as its taste is sweet and reminiscent of whipped cream.

Zuppa inglese

This dessert is very similar to tiramisu and its origin is actually English, specifically from the Elizabethan period. Within Italy, it is common in the regions of Ferrara, Bologna, Forlì…

Zuppa inglese

This is a sponge cake that is soaked in the following liqueurs: alchermes and rosolio. In addition, pieces of fruits of the forest and pastry cream, cream, fruit jelly or milk cream are added.

The traditional presentation is served in a glass so that the colours of the ingredients can be appreciated through it. Inside the glass the cake is layered with the pieces of fruit and the custard.

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