Pizza pugliese (left) and pizza Margherita (DOC) (right)
Spaghetti alla carbonara
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert.

This is a list of Italian dishes and foods. Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BC. Italian cuisine has its origins in Etruscan, ancient Greek, and ancient Roman cuisines. Significant changes occurred with the discovery of the New World and the introduction of potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and maize, now central to the cuisine, but not introduced in quantity until the 18th century.[1][2]

Italian cuisine includes deeply rooted traditions common to the whole country, as well as all the regional gastronomies, different from each other, especially between the north, the centre and the south of Italy, which are in continuous exchange.[3][4][5] Many dishes that were once regional have proliferated with variations throughout the country.[6][7] Italian cuisine offers an abundance of taste, and is one of the most popular and copied around the world.[8] The most popular dishes and recipes, over the centuries, have often been created by ordinary people more so than by chefs, which is why many Italian recipes are suitable for home and daily cooking, respecting regional specificities.[9][10][11]

The Mediterranean diet forms the basis of Italian cuisine, rich in pasta, fish, fruits and vegetables.[12] Cheese, cold cuts and wine are central to Italian cuisine, and along with pizza and coffee (especially espresso) form part of Italian gastronomic culture.[13] Desserts have a long tradition of merging local flavours such as citrus fruits, pistachio and almonds with sweet cheeses like mascarpone and ricotta or exotic tastes as cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon. Gelato,[14] tiramisu[15] and cassata are among the most famous examples of Italian desserts, cakes and patisserie. Italian cuisine relies heavily on traditional products; the country has a large number of traditional specialities protected under EU law.[16] Italy is the world's largest producer of wine, as well as the country with the widest variety of indigenous grapevine varieties in the world.[17][18]

Dishes and foods

The cuisine of Italy has many unique dishes and foods.

Soups and sauces

Main article: List of Italian soups

See also: List of soups and List of sauces


"Italian bread" redirects here. For American "Italian bread", see Italian-American cuisine § Breads, sandwiches, and savory baked goods.

A focaccia
Pane sciocco

Common pizzas

Neapolitan pizza (Margherita)

Pasta varieties

Main article: List of pasta

A collection of different pasta varieties

Pasta dishes

See also: List of pasta dishes

Gnocchi di ricotta, dressed in butter and sage
Bucatini all'amatriciana
Penne all'arrabbiata
Trenette al pesto
Baked lasagne with ragù
Agnolotti al plin
Spaghetti cacio e pepe

Rice dishes

See also: List of rice dishes

Risotto alla milanese with ossobuco di vitello piemontese

Rice dishes are very common in northern Italy, especially in the Lombardy and Veneto regions, though rice dishes are found throughout the country.

Fish dishes

See also: List of fish dishes

A variation of acqua pazza, a fish dish featuring black olives, scallions and mushrooms
Cappon magro

Meat dishes and cured meats

Abbacchio alla romana
Rabbit cacciatore
Cotechino, polenta and lentils
Cotoletta with potatoes

Vegetable dishes

See also: List of vegetable dishes

Carciofi alla romana
Parmigiana di melanzane

Nut dishes


Further information: Italian wine, Lists of Italian DOCG, DOC, and IGT wines.

Tuscan Chianti in a traditional fiasco
A glass of Lambrusco
Sangiovese grapes
Vineyards in Langhe and Montferrat, Piedmont, the official name of a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising "five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes" plus the Castle of Grinzane Cavour in the region of Piedmont, Italy.[41]
DOCG and DOC labels on two Italian wine bottles
Poggio Amorelli, a typical winery of Chianti region



Further information: List of Italian cheeses, and the more select List of Italian PDO cheeses

See also: List of cheeses

Parmigiano Reggiano
Pecorino romano

Cheese dishes

Desserts and pastry

Main article: List of Italian desserts

See also: Sicilian cuisine – Desserts and sweets and List of desserts

Cannoli siciliani
A semifreddo dessert


Espresso is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.

Other foods

Olive all'ascolana

Unique dishes and foods by region

Friuli-Venezia Giulia


Main article: Cuisine of Veneto

Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol



Main article: Lombard cuisine

Ossobuco with risotto alla milanese
Bresaola served with bread, olives and onions
Tortelli di zucca
Colomba di Pasqua
Pavese agnolotti with Pavese stew-based sauce

Valle D'Aosta


Bagna càuda with ingredients
Panna cotta with cream and garnish




Boiled cotechino (top) served with polenta and lentils
Tagliatelle al ragù


Bistecca alla fiorentina

Tuscan bread specialties


Specialties of the Norcineria (Umbrian Butcher)


Olive all'ascolana

Unique ham and sausage specialties



Abruzzo and Molise



Spaghetti alle vongole


Orecchiette with cime di rapa sauce

Apulian bread specialties


Pasta con i peperoni cruschi


'Nduja with bread, with a piece of 'nduja sausage in the background


Main articles: List of Sicilian dishes and Sicilian cuisine

Pasta alla Norma



Most important ingredients (see also: Italian Herbs and Spices):

Other common ingredients

Balsamic vinegar
Pasta being prepared in a pasta machine

Herbs and spices

Main article: List of Italian soups

See also: List of soups and List of sauces

See also


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