Readers’ Choice: Italian Cuisine Is the Officially the Best
We've always suspected it, but now it's official: Italian cuisine is the best in the world. At least that's what 59.3 percent of our readers who voted on a recent poll think. And we're certainly not going to argue with them about it.
The home of pasta, pizza and gelato, Italy has cracked the gastronomy code. Wondering where to start? These are the 10 best Italian dishes.
10. Cappelletti in Brodo
Cappelletti in brodo isn't as well-known as other Italian dishes, and we think that's a real shame. Few things can be as satisfying as hot pasta broth on a cold day. It warms up your soul, and it's filling without being heavy.
Plus, you have different fillings in the cappelletti, so it's difficult to get bored of this dish.
Gnocchi are Italian dumplings that food historians believe to have preceded pasta. The dough is usually made with potatoes and is often ribbed so that sauces don't slide off the delicious little lumps.
Italian immigrants brought this mouthwatering dish to Argentina, where it became ñoqui. We celebrate this because more gnocchi is always a good thing in our book.
Italian meatballs blow every other meatball out of the water. The dish consists of making balls of ground meat mixed with eggs, garlic, spices and cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano). They are then fried to perfection and served on their own or with sauce.
Traditionally, they are not served with pasta.
Did you know tiramisu was created in the 1980s? This perfect dessert is a heavenly combination of ladyfingers soaked in coffee and wine and layered in mascarpone cream. Each bite is moist, soft and filled with a fragrant mix of flavors.
You'll find tiramisu pretty much anywhere in the world. But it's true that there's nothing like having it in Italy with an espresso.
6. Risotto ai Funghi Porcini
Mushy rice sounds like a culinary disaster, but Italians have managed to make it into a dish good enough to make you cry. Enjoyed in the country since the Middle Ages, there are countless variations of this versatile food.
Our favorite, however, is risotto ai funghi porcini, which uses porcini mushrooms, shallots, white wine and Parmesan cheese. The mushrooms add a bit of texture to the rice, while the beef broth that is typically used infuses it with a strong flavor.
Yes, Italian cuisine is not all about carbs. Case in point: the absolute perfection that is porchetta, a dish highly underrated outside of Italy. It consists of a deboned pig seasoned with herbs and spices and filled with stuffing. The pig is then roasted over a wood fire until the skin is crispy.
Every region has its own variation, usually seen in the stuffing. You'll find porchetta served on special occasions. In certain places, it's become a favorite street food.
4. Lasagna a la Bolognese
OK, now back to pasta. We couldn't leave lasagna out. Not when every bite of the layered dish feels like angels are singing to you.
Perhaps the most delicious variation is Bologna-style lasagna, which uses ragu meat sauce, Parmesan cheese and egg pasta. If you've ever made lasagna, chances are that you've followed this timeless recipe.
If we had to choose a single Italian dessert to have for life, it would be gelato. Now a worldwide phenomenon, this versatile dessert has a million-and-one flavors and is good at any time of year. Yes, even in winter.
We love its simplicity, made with a base of milk, cream, sugar and eggs combined with a flavor. Gelato is proof that a dish doesn't need to be complex to be delicious.
2. Pizza Napoletana
You didn't think we'd end this list without including pizza, did you?
We admit that there is no way to choose a single pizza above them all. But we had to get specific, so we'll go with the one that started it all: pizza Napoletana. While forms of pizza have existed forever, our modern concept of the dish was invented in Naples in the 1700s.
This practically perfect pizza is simple but oh-so-good. Its two variations include marinara, which consists of a tomato-based sauce, and Margherita, which has basil leaves, mozzarella and tomatoes. Interestingly, Margherita was made to resemble the colors of the Italian flag.
1. Pasta Carbonara
Pizza is amazing, but nothing can compete with pasta. Arguably thebest dish in all of Europe, pasta is versatile, easy to make and always delicious. In our opinion, the crown jewel goes to pasta carbonara.
Made with egg yolks, Pecorino Romano and cured pork jowl (called guanciale), it was first invented in Rome but is now enjoyed throughout Italy and the world. The creamy sauce, juicy pork and strong Pecorino are a trinity that simply has no match.