20 Best Authentic Italian Dishes You Must Try

best italian dishes

Italy has a rich cuisine offering a wide variety of savory and sweet dishes. The recipes used in the traditional Italian dishes are passed down between generations and loved by all. Here is a list of 20 authentic Italian dishes that you must try:

1 Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a well-known dessert popular over the world. It is light and creamy and includes ingredients like coffee, eggs, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa. There are other varieties available like chocolate tiramisu and fruit tiramisu.


2 Gelato

A visit to Italy is incomplete without having smooth and creamy gelato. This is indeed a must-have.


3 Osso bucoalla Milanese

Osso bucoalla Milanese is a top favorite for meat lovers. Veal shanks are braised slowly in white wine which is then served with an array of vegetables. Gremolata, a condiment made of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest, is added to complete the dish. The best part lies when you scoop out bone marrow from the bones of the veil.


4 Arancini

Arancini is a crisp and golden fried rice ball filled with tomato sauce, ragù, peas, and mozzarella. It is similar to pizza and pasta dishes in Italy. These rice balls are coated in a dusting of crunchy breadcrumbs to make them crispy. Other regional specialties are made with different fillings depending on the region.


5 Pasta

Pasta is no new dish that many are not aware of. Their types vary depending on the regions of Italy. Try their regional specialties whenever you visit the place. If you are roaming Rome, make sure to order Pasta Alla Carbonara which is prepared with eggs, guanciale, pecorino cheese, and black pepper.


6 Pizza

When it comes to Pizza, the first kind that is popular and top favourite is Margherita. It is said to be originated from Naples; the pizza Margherita is a tasty dish. You can order this item from a local pizzeria, which is topped with garlic, basil, tomatoes, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella. Well, who doesn’t love pizzas?


7 Torrone

Torrone is sticky and creamy, made with toasted nuts, egg whites, honey, and citrus zest. Slabs of this candy are found in many candy stores and cafes throughout Italy. You can also try the other variant which is dipped in rich chocolate.


8 Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca contains thin slices of veal which are topped with herb leaves and salty prosciutto. These are then joined with a toothpick and sautéed until the meat is cooked. Meat like mutton and chicken are also used. They have a tendency to melt in the mouth within the first bite and are highly popular among the tourists.


9 Prosciutto

Prosciutto is a top favorite Italian dish. It refers to dry-cured ham, which is served uncooked and cut into thin slices. It is savory and light and is usually served with pasta. It is said to be originated from the northern and central regions of Italy. Tourists love this dish!


10 Lasagne

Lasagne is one such dish that we all have had at some point in our lives. It is another classic Italian dish made by baking sheets of lasagne paste which are layered with ground meat, cheese, different sauces, and vegetables. Make sure to try this dish to get a true taste of Italian cuisine if you haven’t already. You will fall in love with it.


11 Ribollita

Ribollita is traditionally known as Cucina Povera or poor man’s food. Earlier, it was created by servants who collected unfinished food such as vegetables and bread from their masters. The name of this dish means ‘reboiled’ in English. It is easily regarded as one of the most important dishes of Tuscany.


12 Polenta

Polenta is a cornmeal porridge that is originated from Northern Italy. It is topped with grated cheese and ragù style sauce. It is sometimes topped with onions and peppers to enhance the taste. It is perfect for the times when you don’t feel like experimenting  with food.


13 Bottarga

Bottarga is a salted and cured fish roe made from grey mullet or tuna. It is thinly sliced, and often found in Sardinia. The flavour is intense, and the tuna version has a slightly bitter aftertaste. You will surely love this dish.


14 Risotto

Risotto is a creamy rice dish made with arborio rice and beef or chicken broth. The rice is stirred with broth over low heat until it is creamy and thick. Mushrooms, Saffron, and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese are added along with fresh herbs.


15 Ragù a la Bolognese

Ragù a la Bolognese is made with beef, veal, and pork browned with olive oil and garlic simmered with tomato paste, milk, and white wine. The taste is unique and will become one of your favorite Italian dishes in no time.


16 Bistecca Fiorentina

Bistecca Fiorentina is a Florentine-style steak grilled over hot coals. It is brushed with olive oil, rosemary, pepper, and salt. It is a top favorite among meat lovers when the steak is served rare.


17 Focaccia

Focaccia is a soft flatbread similar to pizza dough, but it is lighter and bread-like. It is baked with a coating of olive oil and salt. Other ingredients like green olives and onions are also added. Locals, as well as the visitor and tourists, are quite fond of this dish.


18 Sarde in Saor

Sarde in Saor is a traditional Italian dish where the sardines are boiled or fried. They are then topped with onions, which are then stewed in vinegar and oil mixed with pine nuts and raisins. It is preserved with a vinegar base and is usually served cold.

Sarde in saor

19 Orecchiette Cime di Rapa

Orecchiette, also known as little pasta ears, is served with rapini or broccoli rabe. The shape of the pasta is made by smearing little dough discs. Make sure to try this dish whenever you visit Italy.


20 Tortellini

Tortellini is a small ring-shaped pasta which is stuffed with cheese or meat mixture. They are served in beef or chicken broth. They are a top favorite among tourists and visitors as it is very delicious.