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Why We LOVE Italian Cuisine

Italy's celebrated dishes are sources of great local pride in the places that developed them -- from big Bolognese ragu to simple Sicilian sardines. Let's take a quick look at Italian cuisine -- and explore some top-rated authentic Italian recipes. Buon Gusto!

Importance of Place

Some dishes are so closely connected to place that they've assumed the name of their town of origin. In Italy, ordering la Fiorentina gets you a grilled T-bone; una Milanese, a breaded veal chop.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Tuscan Porterhouse)

"This flagship Tuscan steak is made from the region's Chianina breed of cattle which are prized for their tenderness and flavor," says eat!. "In typical Italian style, simplicity rules the day; little more than olive oil, rosemary, and salt are needed to highlight the rich flavor of the grilled meat. With Italian food, freshness and quality are top priority, so I use nothing less than choice porterhouse, and much prefer prime!"

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Photo by hungryallweighs

Ossobuco alla Milanese

"Ossobuco is one of the signature dishes of Milanese cuisine," says clara. "Veal shanks are cut crosswise to reveal the marrow, a cut often just referred to as 'ossobucco'. The dish is finished with a gremolata, which is a mix of chopped parsley and lemon zest. In Milan, ossobucco is typically served with a saffron risotto."

Ossobuco alla Milanese

Photo by debbie

Rigatoni alla Genovese

"I have no idea why this amazingly flavorful Genovese-style meat sauce isn't way more popular than it is," says Chef John. "It's quite simply one of the best pasta sauces you'll ever taste, thanks to a very slow cooking process, and massive amounts of onions. Once everything is prepped, the recipe couldn’t be easier. Simmer until the meat and onions melt into each other, and serve."

Rigatoni alla Genovese

Photo by Chef John

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Family Tradition

Traditional Italian regional cuisines were perfected in home kitchens. Shared among family and friends over generations, it's no wonder we serve Italian food when the brood's all together.

Chef John's Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore is classic Italian-style comfort food. "This simple Italian dish is packed with chicken, peppers, mushrooms and herbs for a satisfying one pot meal," says Chef John.

Chef John's Chicken Cacciatore

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

"Spaghetti alla carbonara's creamy sauce is simply a thin egg and cheese custard, spiked with pork and black pepper," says Chef John. "Try to find pancetta or guanciale (pork cheek cured like pancetta) for a really authentic taste!"

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Photo by naples34102

Risotto alla Pavese

"Creamy risotto made with fresh cranberry beans comes from the Lombardy region of Italy," says Buckwheat Queen. "With traditional flavors from the region, this risotto is bursting with flavor and healthy goodness. Cranberry beans are also called borlotti beans."

Risotto alla Pavese

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

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Exceptional Ingredients

Italian cuisine offers a whole world of ingredients -- fresh seafood, seasonal veggies, cured meats, beautiful cheeses, savory herbs -- prepared in ways from simple to elaborate.

Insalata Caprese II

"Because this salad is so simple, fresh, top-quality tomatoes and mozzarella are important," says Marina.

Insalata Caprese II

Photo by Spunky Buddy

Tuscan Fish Stew

This fish stew was inspired by the flavors of Florence. "I spent a few days in Florence about 30 years ago," says Chef John, "and I recall my surprise at how delicious the Tuscan fish stew was. What I found so interesting was how herbs like oregano, sage, and rosemary, which I'd only associated with meat, were also used with seafood. Also, FYI just in case any old-school Tuscans are coming over: I hear that for this to qualify as an official Italian fish stew you need use at least 5 different types of seafood, which is both insane and adorable. Serve with crusty bread."

Tuscan Fish Stew

Photo by Chef John

Chicken Marsala Florentine

"This is a gorgeous chicken dish with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms," says SHANOU. "It tastes fantastic!"

Chicken Marsala Florentine

Photo by Kim's Cooking Now!

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About Allrecipes Staff

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