Italy is 100,000 square miles of impeccable taste. From North to South, the country is a succession of unique and unmistakable flavours, with a wide variety of typical products and family recipes that are handed down from generation to generation, making Italy’s cuisine the most famous in the world.
Today we’re out to discover 5 delicious Italian pasta dishes which are inextricably linked to the land in which they were born, therefore what better than combining your next trip to Italy with some local food tasting. The knowledge of a place is passed down through its food and, by tasting these dishes, you can come into contact with the essence and tradition of these 5 incredible destinations.
It’s time to plan your next trip and enjoy the best pasta dishes in Italy. Buon appetito!
Le Langhe: the home of the prized truffle
Between the provinces of Cuneo and Asti, we find Le Langhe, a historic region of Piedmont which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
Le Langhe is home to rolling hills, vineyards, castles and villages which are great to visit all year round, but especially in autumn. From September to the end of November is the season of the white truffles of Alba, a real delicacy that seasons many dishes of the Piedmont tradition. This is something that makes Le Langhe an unmissable destination for lovers of gourmet food from all over the world
We recommend trying the agnolotti with the white truffle of Alba while sipping a glass of Barolo and enjoying the flavours of the region of Italy declared by travel experts Lonely Planet to be the most beautiful in the world.
Sondrio: a taste sensation in the Italian Alps
The mountain air certainly helps you work up an appetite and in Valtellina in the province of Sondrio, they know what to bring to the table to satisfy even the hungriest mouths all year round.
After a walk in the woods or a day on the ski slopes, you absolutely must treat yourself to a plate of pizzoccheri: buckwheat tagliatelle which is seasoned with savoy cabbage, cheese, butter and potatoes. This is a simple, tasty and filling delight full of carbs and is perfect for warming up on cold winter days.
In Teglio, a small town in Sondrio province considered the gastronomic capital of Valtellina and home of the pizzoccheri, there is even an event dedicated to the traditional flavours and excellent products of this land.
Bologna: the ragout capital of Italy
Bologna is nicknamed la grossa, the fat city, and it’s a name that’s fully deserved when you take the time to discover the wonderful food on offer. Here there are countless delights for the palate and eating well is almost as important as breathing.
To get in touch with the gastronomic culture of the city, the best way to do this is by visiting the ancient Middle Market near the famous Basilica of San Petronio, a real paradise for foodies. Here, the traditional shops with local delicacies are overflowing with typical products (all strictly handmade!) and tell the story of the passion for good Italian food.
Enjoy the city and all it has to offer in terms of art, history and culture, but remember: you can’t say you’ve visited Bologna without having tasted a plate of their special tagliatelle al ragù, more commonly known as Spaghetti Bolognese, in one of the historic trattorias in the city centre.
Bari: discover the Italian version of paella
Rice, potatoes and mussels. Okay, so this isn’t strictly a pasta dish, but we couldn’t resist including it in our selection since it’s a simply delicious dish. It’s time to head to Bari and enjoy this wonderful dish that comes out of the combination of these three simple ingredients but produce a truly magical flavour.
This recipe, known as tiella thanks to the name of the terracotta pot in which it is prepared, was traditionally a peasant dish and initially used only vegetables and rice. Later, the recipe evolved as it travelled from the countryside to the coast, meeting the maritime culture and some Spanish influence which is when mussels were added, still present in the modern day tiella of Bari and Taranto.
Discover Southern Italy through its authentic flavours that reflect the influences of the people who have inhabited this land over the years and discover this crossroads of different cultures.
Palermo: gourmet simplicity
The city of Palermo, in addition to previously holding the title of Capital of Italian Culture, is a city that has a variety of gourmet tastes and recipes with deep roots in the history of the Sicilian capital.
Due to its strategic geographical position in the heart of the Mediterranean, this wonderful Italian city has been the site of conquest by foreign forces that over time have mixed and merged into a single and unique culture. These populations have left their mark not only on art and culture but also on the local cuisine.
One of the best historical recipes is pasta with sardines, nicknamed by the people of Palermo “pasta c’a munnizza”. Sardines and wild fennel are combined in this dish, and while this seems to be a simple combination, you really have to try it to experience the wonderful flavour for yourself.