When it comes to a universally beloved cuisine, nothing tops Italian food! But for many people the first dishes to come to mind are Italian-American red sauce specials like pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, and baked ziti. Brought to the US and adapted by Italian immigrants from Naples and southern Italy; they barely scratch the surface of regional Italian specialties. Here are some of our favorites for you to try at home:
Cacio e Pepe
Rome is home to several classic pasta dishes from Carbonara to All’Amatriciana to one of our favorites for cheese-lovers; Cacio e Pepe. This dish has a cult following for a reason! It uses just three ingredients; pasta, imported Pecorino Romano cheese, and pepper to create a creamy, luscious and amazingly flavorful cheese sauce that beautifully coats thick cut bucatini. Our easy, speedy, one pan version cleverly uses the starch from the pasta cooking water to ensure a thick and luxurious sauce.
Cacio e Pepe
Tuscan Ribollita with Imported Provolone Toast
Heading north from Rome into Tuscany the cuisine becomes much more farm-to-table with a major focus on bread as well. This hearty, comfort-food, Tuscan vegetable stew was originally a way to use up leftover bread! Ribollita means “reboiled” due to the addition of cubed bread to thicken the broth. Traditionally made with just a Parmesan rind, we add a hefty dose of imported Pecorino for flavor plus serve ours topped with a deliciously cheesy toast for dipping.
Bolognese with Pappardelle and imported Grana Padano cheese
Just north of Tuscany; the city of Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region is often considered the food capital of Italy. Known for eggy tortellini, aged balsamic vinegar from nearby Modena, Prosciutto di Parma and imported Parmesan Reggiano cheese from the neighboring city of Parma; it’s also the birthplace of classic, meaty Bolognese Sauce! Typically made with ground beef, pork, or veal – our version uses tender ground lamb simmered in a flavorful red wine-tomato sauce and topped with a generous helping of nutty imported Grana Padano cheese. Similar to Parmigiano Reggiano, this Italian aged cow’s milk cheese has a slightly milder and sweeter flavor that’s perfect for this dish.
Porcini Risotto with Pecorino
Northern Italian cuisine varies widely from the south with more of a focus on meat, rice and dairy including the iconic, creamy risotto you know and love. Seen everywhere on menus throughout the north of Italy, our version features the addition of tender, umami-rich porcini mushrooms and the sharp, slightly salty tang of imported sheep’s milk Pecorino Romano cheese. It’s the perfect main dish or elegant side dish for dinner parties!
Gnocchi with Imported Gorgonzola Cream Sauce, Walnuts, and Sage
Potato gnocchi actually originated in Northern Italy, where the cooler climate was better suited for growing potatoes rather than grain. The potatoes make for a light, airy dough and are responsible for the soft, pillowy texture you know and love in gnocchi. Here we smother them with a sauce made from one of the world’s oldest blue-veined cheeses also iconic to the region: imported Gorgonzola! Produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy; rich, sharp, imported Gorgonzola cheese will give your gnocchi and all your cooking an incredible flavor boost.