Olive oil–enriched mashed potatoes enclose a layer of zesty braised kale in this savory cake, which then gets topped with crispy breadcrumbs.
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs, divided
- 2 oz. thick-cut pancetta, cut into ¼” pieces
- ½ pound Tuscan kale (1 small bunch), center ribs and stems removed, leaves cut crosswise into ½” strips (about 6 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2” chunks
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. coarsely grated Parmesan (about 2 oz.)
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
Tuscan kale, also called black kale, dinosaur kale, Lacinato kale, or cavolo nero, has long, narrow, very dark green bumpy leaves and is available at farmers’ markets and some supermarkets.
Brush a 9”-diameter springform pan or an 8x8x2” glass baking dish with 1 Tbsp. oil. Coat bottom and 1” up sides of pan with ¼ cup breadcrumbs.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil and pancetta in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook until pancetta begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring a few times, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes.
Add kale a few handfuls at a time, stirring to wilt and combine with onion and pancetta. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes; season with salt and add ½ cup water. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if pan begins to dry out, until kale leaves are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. DO AHEAD: Kale can be cooked 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.
Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large pot and add cold water to cover by 1”. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and gently simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving ½ cup cooking water. Return potatoes to pot. Cook over very low heat, shaking and stirring with a wooden spoon, until dry.
Using a potato ricer, food mill, or colander, press potatoes into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in remaining 3 Tbsp. oil and 3–4 Tbsp. potato cooking water. Stir in 1 cup Parmesan and parsley; season with salt and pepper. If potatoes are very dry, add 1–2 Tbsp. cooking water. (Potatoes may still appear a bit dry, but they will soften as they bake.)
Spoon ⅔ of potatoes into prepared dish, smoothing to cover bottom and 1” up sides of dish. Spread kale mixture over potatoes. Spoon remaining potatoes over and smooth top. DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and chill. Store remaining breadcrumbs airtight at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp. Parmesan and remaining ¼ cup breadcrumbs over potatoes and drizzle with oil. Bake, uncovered, until torta is heated through and top is golden, about 1 hour. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares or wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional Content8 servings, 1 serving contains:Calories (kcal) 320Fat (g) 17Saturated Fat (g) 4Cholesterol (mg) 10Carbohydrates (g) 35Dietary Fiber (g) 3Total Sugars (g) 2Protein (g) 9Sodium (mg) 300Reviews SectionWe absolutely loved this recipe. Its great with the leftovers for lunch to.AnonymousRed Hook NY10/14/19
Technically a seed (so no gluten), quinoa is touted as a superfood for its high fiber and protein. The runny yolk of a poached egg creates a little sauce on top.
Soy and Sesame Kale Chips (pictured)
Instead of a bag of potato chips, try these crunchy, savory treats.
Olive Oil and Sea Salt Kale Chips
A sprinkling of coarse salt tastes satisfying without all the sodium of processed snacks.
Cheesy Pepper Kale Chips
Choose from parmesan or nutritional yeast for the cheesy flavor.
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(Readers: Please let me know if there are any broken links when you are trying to access a recipe. I try to keep up with errors in the recipe index, but stuff happens! Thank you.)
ANGELA’S APPLE CAKE: LA TORTA DI MELE E PANNA
If you’re looking for a new dessert to make for this holiday season, this Italian apple cake recipe from Emiko Davies is fabulous. As you probably know, we love Piemonte, so when Emiko shared this dessert from her Piemontese mother-in-law we were ecstatic! It’s so easy and delicious. Plus we love the splash of brandy or rum with fresh apples. For the full recipe, get The Taste Edit Issue 2 or Emiko’s cookbook .
Words and photo by Emiko Davies.
My mother-in-law, Angela, has a ‘recipe book’: a large hardcover agenda from 1981 where she writes down recipes she likes or wants to try. They’re scattered randomly, scrawled on the days of the week where you would normally record birthdays, appointments and reminders. It’s rather impractical because you have to flick through 365 days to find the scribbled recipe you’re looking for, but she has been using it diligently for nearly forty years. This apple cake was the first recipe she wrote down in it, and although she doesn’t remember anymore where it came from, it was one that she made often when Marco was a child.
I love it because it’s quite different from the usual Tuscan apple cake, which is a simple cake topped with a single layer of sliced apples. I suspect this version is not even Tuscan at all, as it requires quite a good amount of butter. The cake on the bottom is rather dense and crumbly – a support for all the apples that melt down into a surprisingly thin layer, topped with a veil of butter and sugar. It’s absolutely delicious just out of the oven, still warm, and I would say always does better with a bit of warming up even the next day or so. The fact that Angela calls this cake ‘la torta di mele e panna’– the cake with apple and cream – to distinguish it from a regular apple cake tells you that you should always serve this with freshly whipped cream.
Rigatoni Alla Buttera: Cowboy-Style Rigatoni
Made with pork sausage and pancetta, this Tuscan rigatoni dish will surely be served at our house more than once! According to Acquacotta: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany’s Secret Silver Coast author Emiko Davis, Rigatoni Alla Buttera: Cowboy-Style Rigatoni, is one of the most popular dishes in southern Maremma, the region on the coast of Tuscany where she lives. The dish was created by the wives of cowboys who raised the famous Maremmana cattle, but couldn’t afford to eat the beef, so instead they would use pork or anything they might have at the time.
Emiko Davis recounts tasting this dish for the first time in her book: “A blanket of pecorino cheese covered the pasta, and I swirled it in a little bit before taking a bite. I can still remember the incredible flavour. I gave a forkful to Marco and watched his eyes light up. ‘What do you think is in this?!’ I asked him. With every bite we tried guessing the possible combination of ingredients that made it so good. It was something salty. Something rich. Something umami. It was quite possibly the tastiest plate of pasta I have ever eaten, and every plate of rigatoni alla buttera eaten since has had to try to match that one.
Afterwards, we found the list of ingredients of the dishes (it’s always posted somewhere at a sagra) and we realised our guesses were, for the most part, wrong. Marco was convinced its tastiness was due to chicken livers, but it was actually something so simple. Pork sausages, pancetta, the usual battuto of onion, celery and carrot. Wine. Tomato. I had to try this at home.”
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 brown (yellow) onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- ½ celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 30 g (1 oz) prosciutto, cut into thin strips
- 60 g (2 oz) pancetta, cut into thin strips or diced
- a few sage leaves
- 1 rosemary sprig, leaves chopped
- 300 g (10½ oz) pork sausages, casings removed
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) dry white wine
- 200 g (7 oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
- 320 g (11½ oz) dried rigatoni (large tube-shaped pasta) or penne pasta
- finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, for serving
- Pour the olive oil into a wide frying pan and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, prosciutto, pancetta and herbs with a pinch of salt. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and the fat is transparent. Add the sausages, crumbling the meat into the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring to brown all sides.
- Pour over the white wine and let it cook down for about 5–7 minutes.
- Add the tomato passata and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of water and bring to a simmer. Cook on low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary (this is a fairly robust sauce with lots of flavour from the prosciutto, pancetta and sausage, so you may not need any extra salt), then continue cooking for a further 10 minutes or so. You should have a well-reduced, thick, rich sauce. Set aside.
- Put the pasta in a large pot of boiling, well-salted water. Boil until al dente, then drain and toss with the sauce.
- Serve with plenty of finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese.
Excerpt and photo printed with permission from Acquacotta: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany’s Secret Silver Coast by Emiko Davies, published by Hardie Grant Books March 2017.
Basic polenta (Polenta) (page 193)
From Lidia's Celebrate Like an Italian: 220 Foolproof Recipes That Make Every Meal a Party Lidia's Celebrate Like an Italian by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
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- Categories: Quick / easy Side dish Main course Dinner parties/entertaining Italian Vegan Vegetarian
- Ingredients: bay leaves cornmeal
The Best Authentic Recipes from Giada in Italy
From craveable pasta to refreshing cocktails, check out classically Italian eats and drinks from Giada De Laurentiis' homeland.
Creamy Orzo with Prosciutto and Peas
A rich mixture of eggs and nutty Parmesan cheese turns into a silky sauce for this speedy pasta, balanced with salty prosciutto and sweet sauteed shallots.
Pan-Roasted Asparagus with a Crispy Fried Egg
No longer is asparagus just a side dish. When you top it with a fried egg, it can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or even a simple dinner!
If you've never made pizza dough from scratch, Giada's easy recipe is an ideal place to start. It's made with only five everyday ingredients.
Chocolate Ricotta Toast
Not just for topping your pasta, ricotta can be sweet too. Here Giada mixes the creamy cheese with cinnamon and sugar, then spreads it on toasted bread and finishes it with chocolate for an extra-special dessert.
Burrata and Strawberry Bruschetta
Tomatoes and strawberries might seem like an unlikely match, but trust Giada when she says they work well together, especially when you get your hands on summer&rsquos best sweet, juicy tomatoes.
Sausage and Broccoli Pizza
Let the tomato sauce chill for a while so that the flavors have a chance to combine, which will ultimately give you a more delicious pizza.
Pound Cake with Limoncello Zabaglione
Zabaglione is a light Italian custard, and Giada spikes hers with limoncello, a sweet Italian liqueur. It&rsquos the ideal way to finish a slice of rich pound cake.
Avocado and White Bean Dip
This super-easy appetizer is best served with veggies and toasted bread for dipping. All it takes is 10 minutes and a food processor!
Similar to an Eton mess, which is a British dessert with strawberries and cream, Giada&rsquos recipe celebrates the flavors of a Torrone, a popular Italian candy bar. There&rsquos plenty of sweet marshmallow creme, crunchy almonds and dark chocolate.
This summery citrus slushy is topped off with a little prosecco to give it a sparkling finish.
Pappa al Pomodoro
"The finished soup should be silky and thickened," Giada notes of this comforting recipe, which gets its hearty texture from a base of bread. As they cooks with the tomatoes and broth, the bread cubes absorb moisture and become deeply flavored.
Chocolate Almond Mousse Cannoli
It's all about the filling in these impressive cannoli. Chocolate whipped cream and amaretto-spiked ricotta come together to create the ultimate better-together mixture.
Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
Sweet fruit-and-nut bread takes the place of the usual cookies in these four-ingredient treats. The slices are smeared with chocolate-hazelnut spread before sandwiching a filling of candy-studded ice cream.
Asparagus with Grilled Melon Salad
Quickly grilling the melon boosts the natural sweetness of the fruit. Giada turns the cantaloupe into a savory salad by tossing it with fresh cherry tomatoes, mint and chile paste.
Spaghetti with Chianti and Fava Beans
Not only does Giada's cheesy pasta sauce boast the earthy taste of Chianti wine, but the noodles themselves are flavored too. Giada boils the pasta in a wine-water mixture, which delivers both taste and color to the spaghetti.
Traditional affogatos feature gelato or ice cream with a shot of espresso, but Giada skips the coffee in flavor of warm, cinnamon-spiced red wine, which pairs well with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.
Avocado and White Bean Dip
Ready to eat in just 10 minutes, this cool dip is the ultimate in last-minute appetizers. Giada likes to serve it with raw veggies and crunchy bread for easy dunking.
Laced with nutty Parmesan and flecked with fresh crab, these breaded rice balls are quickly fried until crispy on the outside and creamy inside.
Prosciutto Broth with Farro and Spinach
This is the soup recipe you didn't know you've been missing. The deeply savory prosciutto-based broth is simmered with fragrant thyme and a Parmesan rind, which imparts salty, nutty flavor as it cooks. In place of the usual noodles, there's chewy farro, an authentic Italian grain. Don't opt out of making the Parmesan crisps — those golden, crispy rounds that adorn each bowl — as they pack a serious punch of both texture and taste.
Seared Mushrooms with Wilted Arugula
When you think there's no time to make a side dish, look to Giada's 15-minute mushrooms. These earthy beauties are quickly cooked then tossed with a few ready-to-go mix-ins: chewy dried cranberries, crunchy walnuts and peppery arugula.
Italian Fruit Toast
Not just for savory bruschetta, toasted slices of bread can become dessert too. Giada sprinkles ciabatta with sugar before caramelizing the bread, and after that, it's all about the toppings. A smear of ricotta delivers creamy richness, while fresh berries provide a bright bite.
The complete foodie guide to Tuscany
Tuscan food is famous for its humility and honesty, but don’t mistake that for weakness – the exceptional produce here forms a foundation for hearty home cooking that will change the way you think about food.
Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.
Discover more about this region's cuisine:
Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.
When we talk about Italian food, we often refer to its humble beginnings in the kitchens of the country’s poorest inhabitants. For centuries, whilst the nobility and clergy claimed the best cuts of meat, the freshest fruit and vegetables and prized fish and seafood, the majority of Italians were forced to make do with the scraps. Although some remnants of upper class cuisine have survived, it is the ingenuity and resourcefulness of la cucina povera – the so-called ‘kitchen of the poor’ – that defines Italian food today. Nowhere in Italy is that more evident than in Tuscany, where these humble dishes are still enjoyed in homes and trattorias all over the region.
Respect for the history and origins of these dishes is important in Tuscany. A bread soup like acquacotta may look spartan to us, but there was a time not all that long ago when Tuscans ate it because it was literally all they had. People who worked for long periods away from home – shepherds, woodcutters, quarry workers and the like – would often take bread with them as, although it would go stale, it would keep for many days before spoiling. If all you have is some stale bread, water, and a few vegetables, then that’s what you’re going to eat. These days of course, you might enhance your acquacotta with a poached egg, grated Parmesan or olive oil, but regardless – the dish survives at least partly in celebration of Tuscany’s past.
There’s another reason too, though – Tuscany’s geographical location in the heart of Italy means it shares a similar climate to neighbouring provinces like Emilia-Romagna, Campania and Umbria, making it fantastic for farming. Tuscans are blessed with a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables – tomatoes here are exceptional, perhaps the best in the world – and the outstanding quality of produce is the cornerstone of Tuscan cuisine. Tuscany really does have it all too – wild game here is superb, as is the beef and pork, with native Chianina cattle especially prized for their lean, flavourful meat. The long western coastline along the Mediterranean yields a huge variety of fish and seafood, which often goes into soups and stews. When you see the produce here, Tuscan cooking makes sense – it’s about preserving the quality of the ingredient, by doing as little to it as possible.
It makes sense to go self-catered in Tuscany if you’re planning a visit, then! But that said, there are chefs across the region who are pushing the boundaries of Tuscan food to bold new places. In Florence, Marco Stabile is taking familiar Tuscan flavours and reinventing them with imagination, whilst two-Michelin-starred chefs Gaetano Travato and Francesco Bracali run two of Italy’s best restaurants from idyllic spots in the Tuscan countryside. Scroll down for our complete foodie guide to Tuscany, to ensure you don’t miss anything on your next visit.
Italian cuisine has developed over the centuries. Although the country known as Italy did not unite until the 19th century, the cuisine can claim traceable roots as far back as the 4th century BC. Food and culture were very important at that time as we can see from the cookbook (Apicius) which dates to the first century BC.  Through the centuries, neighbouring regions, conquerors, high-profile chefs, political upheaval, and the discovery of the New World have influenced its development. Italian cuisine started to form after the fall of the Roman Empire when different cities began to separate and form their own traditions. Many different types of bread and pasta were made, and there was a variation in cooking techniques and preparation.
The country was then split for a long time and influenced by surrounding countries such as Spain, France and Central Europe. This and the trade or the location on the Silk Road with its routes to Asia influenced the local development of special dishes. Due to the climatic conditions and the different proximity to the sea, different basic foods and spices were available from region to region. Regional cuisine is represented by some of the major cities in Italy. For example, Milan (north of Italy) is known for risottos, Trieste (northeast of Italy) is known for multicultural food, Bologna (the central/middle of the country) is known for its tortellini, and Naples (the south) is famous for its pizzas.  A good example is the well-known spaghetti where it is believed that they spread across Africa to Sicily and then on to Naples.  
The first known Italian food writer was a Greek Sicilian named Archestratus from Syracuse in the 4th century BC. He wrote a poem that spoke of using "top quality and seasonal" ingredients. He said that flavours should not be masked by spices, herbs or other seasonings. He placed importance on simple preparation of fish. 
Simplicity was abandoned and replaced by a culture of gastronomy as the Roman Empire developed. By the time De re coquinaria was published in the 1st century AD, it contained 470 recipes calling for heavy use of spices and herbs. The Romans employed Greek bakers to produce breads and imported cheeses from Sicily as the Sicilians had a reputation as the best cheesemakers. The Romans reared goats for butchering, and grew artichokes and leeks. 
Middle Ages Edit
With culinary traditions from Rome and Athens, a cuisine developed in Sicily that some consider the first real Italian cuisine. [ citation needed ] Arabs invaded Sicily in the 9th century, introducing spinach, almonds, and rice.  During the 12th century, a Norman king surveyed Sicily and saw people making long strings made from flour and water called atriya, which eventually became trii, a term still used for spaghetti in southern Italy.  Normans also introduced the casserole, salt cod (baccalà), and stockfish, all of which remain popular. 
Food preservation was either chemical or physical, as refrigeration did not exist. Meats and fish were smoked, dried, or kept on ice. Brine and salt were used to pickle items such as herring, and to cure pork. Root vegetables were preserved in brine after they had been parboiled. Other means of preservation included oil, vinegar, or immersing meat in congealed, rendered fat. For preserving fruits, liquor, honey, and sugar were used. 
The northern Italian regions show a mix of Germanic and Roman culture while the south reflects Arab  influence, as much Mediterranean cuisine was spread by Arab trade.  The oldest Italian book on cuisine is the 13th century Liber de coquina written in Naples. Dishes include "Roman-style" cabbage (ad usum romanorum), ad usum campanie which were "small leaves" prepared in the "Campanian manner", a bean dish from the Marca di Trevisio, a torta, compositum londardicum which are similar to dishes prepared today. Two other books from the 14th century include recipes for Roman pastello, Lasagna pie, and call for the use of salt from Sardinia or Chioggia. 
In the 15th century, Maestro Martino was chef to the Patriarch of Aquileia at the Vatican. His Libro de arte coquinaria describes a more refined and elegant cuisine. His book contains a recipe for Maccaroni Siciliani, made by wrapping dough around a thin iron rod to dry in the sun. The macaroni was cooked in capon stock flavored with saffron, displaying Persian influences. Of particular note is Martino's avoidance of excessive spices in favor of fresh herbs.  The Roman recipes include coppiette (air-dried salami) and cabbage dishes. His Florentine dishes include eggs with Bolognese torta, Sienese torta and Genoese recipes such as piperata (sweets), macaroni, squash, mushrooms, and spinach pie with onions. 
Martino's text was included in a 1475 book by Bartolomeo Platina printed in Venice entitled De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On Honest Pleasure and Good Health"). Platina puts Martino's "Libro" in regional context, writing about perch from Lake Maggiore, sardines from Lake Garda, grayling from Adda, hens from Padua, olives from Bologna and Piceno, turbot from Ravenna, rudd from Lake Trasimeno, carrots from Viterbo, bass from the Tiber, roviglioni and shad from Lake Albano, snails from Rieti, figs from Tuscolo, grapes from Narni, oil from Cassino, oranges from Naples and eels from Campania. Grains from Lombardy and Campania are mentioned as is honey from Sicily and Taranto. Wine from the Ligurian coast, Greco from Tuscany and San Severino, and Trebbiano from Tuscany and Piceno are also mentioned in the book. 
Early modern era Edit
The courts of Florence, Rome, Venice, and Ferrara were central to the cuisine. Cristoforo di Messisbugo, steward to Ippolito d'Este, published Banchetti Composizioni di Vivande in 1549. Messisbugo gives recipes for pies and tarts (containing 124 recipes with various fillings). The work emphasizes the use of Eastern spices and sugar. 
In 1570, Bartolomeo Scappi, personal chef to Pope Pius V, wrote his Opera in five volumes, giving a comprehensive view of Italian cooking of that period. It contains over 1,000 recipes, with information on banquets including displays and menus as well as illustrations of kitchen and table utensils. This book differs from most books written for the royal courts in its preference for domestic animals and courtyard birds rather than game.
Recipes include lesser cuts of meats such as tongue, head, and shoulder. The third volume has recipes for fish in Lent. These fish recipes are simple, including poaching, broiling, grilling, and frying after marination.
Particular attention is given to seasons and places where fish should be caught. The final volume includes pies, tarts, fritters, and a recipe for a sweet Neapolitan pizza (not the current savoury version, as tomatoes had not yet been introduced to Italy). However, such items from the New World as corn (maize) and turkey are included. 
In the first decade of the 17th century, Giacomo Castelvetro wrote Breve Racconto di Tutte le Radici di Tutte l'Herbe et di Tutti i Frutti (A Brief Account of All Roots, Herbs, and Fruit), translated into English by Gillian Riley. Originally from Modena, Castelvetro moved to England because he was a Protestant. The book lists Italian vegetables and fruits along with their preparation. He featured vegetables as a central part of the meal, not just as accompaniments.  Castelvetro favoured simmering vegetables in salted water and serving them warm or cold with olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper, lemon juice, verjus, or orange juice. He also suggested roasting vegetables wrapped in damp paper over charcoal or embers with a drizzle of olive oil. Castelvetro's book is separated into seasons with hop shoots in the spring and truffles in the winter, detailing the use of pigs in the search for truffles. 
In 1662, Bartolomeo Stefani, chef to the Duchy of Mantua, published L'Arte di Ben Cucinare (English: 'The Art of Well Cooking'). He was the first to offer a section on vitto ordinario ("ordinary food"). The book described a banquet given by Duke Charles for Queen Christina of Sweden, with details of the food and table settings for each guest, including a knife, fork, spoon, glass, a plate (instead of the bowls more often used), and a napkin. 
Other books from this time, such as Galatheo by Giovanni della Casa, tell how scalci ("waiters") should manage themselves while serving their guests. Waiters should not scratch their heads or other parts of themselves, or spit, sniff, cough or sneeze while serving diners. The book also told diners not to use their fingers while eating and not to wipe sweat with their napkin. 
Modern era Edit
At the beginning of the 18th century, Italian culinary books began to emphasize the regionalism of Italian cuisine rather than French cuisine. Books written then were no longer addressed to professional chefs but to bourgeois housewives.  Periodicals in booklet form such as La cuoca cremonese (The Cook of Cremona) in 1794 give a sequence of ingredients according to season along with chapters on meat, fish, and vegetables. As the century progressed these books increased in size, popularity, and frequency. 
In the 18th century, medical texts warned peasants against eating refined foods as it was believed that these were poor for their digestion and their bodies required heavy meals. It was believed by some that peasants ate poorly because they preferred eating poorly. However, many peasants had to eat rotten food and mouldy bread because that was all they could afford. 
In 1779, Antonio Nebbia from Macerata in the Marche region, wrote Il Cuoco Maceratese (The Cook of Macerata). Nebbia addressed the importance of local vegetables and pasta, rice, and gnocchi. For stock, he preferred vegetables and chicken over other meats.
In 1773, the Neapolitan Vincenzo Corrado's Il Cuoco Galante (The Courteous Cook) gave particular emphasis to vitto pitagorico (vegetarian food). "Pythagorean food consists of fresh herbs, roots, flowers, fruits, seeds and all that is produced in the earth for our nourishment. It is so called because Pythagoras, as is well known, only used such produce. There is no doubt that this kind of food appears to be more natural to man, and the use of meat is noxious." This book was the first to give the tomato a central role with thirteen recipes.
Zuppa alli pomidoro in Corrado's book is a dish similar to today's Tuscan pappa al pomodoro. Corrado's 1798 edition introduced a "Treatise on the Potato" after the French Antoine-Augustin Parmentier's successful promotion of the tuber.  In 1790, Francesco Leonardi in his book L'Apicio moderno ("Modern Apicius") sketches a history of the Italian Cuisine from the Roman Age and gives as first a recipe of a tomato-based sauce. 
In the 19th century, Giovanni Vialardi, chef to King Victor Emmanuel, wrote A Treatise of Modern Cookery and Patisserie with recipes "suitable for a modest household". Many of his recipes are for regional dishes from Turin including twelve for potatoes such as Genoese Cappon Magro. In 1829, Il Nuovo Cuoco Milanese Economico by Giovanni Felice Luraschi featured Milanese dishes such as kidney with anchovies and lemon and gnocchi alla Romana. Gian Battista and Giovanni Ratto's La Cucina Genovese in 1871 addressed the cuisine of Liguria. This book contained the first recipe for pesto. La Cucina Teorico-Pratica written by Ippolito Cavalcanti described the first recipe for pasta with tomatoes. 
La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiare bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well), by Pellegrino Artusi, first published in 1891, is widely regarded as the canon of classic modern Italian cuisine, and it is still in print. Its recipes predominantly originate from Romagna and Tuscany, where he lived.
Italian cuisine has a great variety of different ingredients which are commonly used, ranging from fruits, vegetables, sauces, meats, etc. In the North of Italy, fish (such as cod, or baccalà), potatoes, rice, corn (maize), sausages, pork, and different types of cheeses are the most common ingredients. Pasta dishes with use of tomato are spread in all of Italy.   Italians like their ingredients fresh and subtly seasoned and spiced. 
In Northern Italy though there are many kinds of stuffed pasta, polenta and risotto are equally popular if not more so.  Ligurian ingredients include several types of fish and seafood dishes. Basil (found in pesto), nuts, and olive oil are very common. In Emilia-Romagna, common ingredients include ham (prosciutto), sausage (cotechino), different sorts of salami, truffles, grana, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and tomatoes (Bolognese sauce or ragù).
Traditional Central Italian cuisine uses ingredients such as tomatoes, all kinds of meat, fish, and pecorino cheese. In Tuscany, pasta (especially pappardelle) is traditionally served with meat sauce (including game meat). In Southern Italy, tomatoes (fresh or cooked into tomato sauce), peppers, olives and olive oil, garlic, artichokes, oranges, ricotta cheese, eggplants, zucchini, certain types of fish (anchovies, sardines and tuna), and capers are important components to the local cuisine.
Italian cuisine is also well known (and well regarded) for its use of a diverse variety of pasta. Pasta include noodles in various lengths, widths, and shapes. Most pastas may be distinguished by the shapes for which they are named—penne, maccheroni, spaghetti, linguine, fusilli, lasagne, and many more varieties that are filled with other ingredients like ravioli and tortellini.
The word pasta is also used to refer to dishes in which pasta products are a primary ingredient. It is usually served with sauce. There are hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognized names.
Examples include spaghetti (thin rods), rigatoni (tubes or cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Dumplings, like gnocchi (made with potatoes or pumpkin) and noodles like spätzle, are sometimes considered pasta. They are both traditional in parts of Italy.
Pasta is categorized in two basic styles: dried and fresh. Dried pasta made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Pasta is generally cooked by boiling. Under Italian law, dry pasta (pasta secca) can only be made from durum wheat flour or durum wheat semolina, and is more commonly used in Southern Italy compared to their Northern counterparts, who traditionally prefer the fresh egg variety.
Durum flour and durum semolina have a yellow tinge in color. Italian pasta is traditionally cooked al dente (Italian: firm to the bite, meaning not too soft). Outside Italy, dry pasta is frequently made from other types of flour, but this yields a softer product. There are many types of wheat flour with varying gluten and protein levels depending on the variety of grain used.
Particular varieties of pasta may also use other grains and milling methods to make the flour, as specified by law. Some pasta varieties, such as pizzoccheri, are made from buckwheat flour. Fresh pasta may include eggs (pasta all'uovo "egg pasta"). Whole wheat pasta has become increasingly popular because of its supposed health benefits over pasta made from refined flour.
Each area has its own specialties, primarily at a regional level, but also at the provincial level. The differences can come from a bordering country (such as France or Austria), whether a region is close to the sea or the mountains, and economics.  Italian cuisine is also seasonal with priority placed on the use of fresh produce.  
Abruzzo and Molise Edit
Pasta, meat, and vegetables are central to the cuisine of Abruzzo and Molise. Chili peppers (peperoncini) are typical of Abruzzo, where they are called diavoletti ("little devils") for their spicy heat. Due to the long history of shepherding in Abruzzo and Molise, lamb dishes are common. Lamb is often paired with pasta.  Mushrooms (usually wild mushrooms), rosemary, and garlic are also extensively used in Abruzzese cuisine.
Best-known is the extra virgin olive oil produced in the local farms on the hills of the region, marked by the quality level DOP and considered one of the best in the country.  Renowned wines like Montepulciano DOCG and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC are considered amongst the world's finest wines.  In 2012 a bottle of Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane ranked #1 in the top 50 Italian wine award.  Centerbe ("Hundred Herbs") is a strong (72% alcohol), spicy herbal liqueur drunk by the locals. Another liqueur is genziana, a soft distillate of gentian roots.
The best-known dish from Abruzzo is arrosticini, little pieces of castrated lamb on a wooden stick and cooked on coals. The chitarra (literally "guitar") is a fine stringed tool that pasta dough is pressed through for cutting. In the province of Teramo, famous local dishes include the virtù soup (made with legumes, vegetables, and pork meat), the timballo (pasta sheets filled with meat, vegetables or rice), and the mazzarelle (lamb intestines filled with garlic, marjoram, lettuce, and various spices). The popularity of saffron, grown in the province of L'Aquila, has waned in recent years.  The most famous dish of Molise is cavatelli, a long shaped, handmade maccheroni-type pasta made of flour, semolina, and water, often served with meat sauce, broccoli, or mushrooms. Pizzelle cookies are a common dessert, especially around Christmas.
Apulia is a massive food producer: major production includes wheat, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, potatoes, spinach, eggplants, cauliflower, fennel, endive, chickpeas, lentils, beans, and cheese (like the traditional caciocavallo cheese). Apulia is also the largest producer of olive oil in Italy. The sea offers abundant fish and seafood that are extensively used in the regional cuisine, especially oysters, and mussels.
Goat and lamb are occasionally used.  The region is known for pasta made from durum wheat and traditional pasta dishes featuring orecchiette-type pasta, often served with tomato sauce, potatoes, mussels, or broccoli rabe. Pasta with cherry tomatoes and arugula is also popular. 
Regional desserts include zeppola, doughnuts usually topped with powdered sugar and filled with custard, jelly, cannoli-style pastry cream, or a butter-and-honey mixture. For Christmas, Apulians make a very traditional rose-shaped pastry called cartellate. These are fried and dipped in vin cotto, which is either a wine or fig juice reduction.
The cuisine of Basilicata is mostly based on inexpensive ingredients and deeply anchored in rural traditions.
Pork is an integral part of the regional cuisine, often made into sausages or roasted on a spit. Famous dry sausages from the region are lucanica and soppressata. Wild boar, mutton, and lamb are also popular. Pasta sauces are generally based on meats or vegetables. The region produces cheeses like Pecorino di Filiano, Canestrato di Moliterno, Pallone di Gravina, and Paddraccio and olive oils like the Vulture. 
The peperone crusco, (or crusco pepper) is a staple of the local cuisine, much to be defined "The red gold of Basilicata".  It is consumed as a snack or as a main ingredient for several regional recipes. 
Among the traditional dishes are pasta con i peperoni cruschi, pasta served with dried crunchy pepper, bread crumbs and grated cheese  lagane e ceci, also known as piatto del brigante (brigand's dish), pasta prepared with chick peas and peeled tomatoes  tumacë me tulë, tagliatelle-dish of Arbëreshe culture rafanata, a type of omelette with horseradish ciaudedda, a vegetable stew with artichokes, potatoes, broad beans, and pancetta  and the baccalà alla lucana, one of the few recipes made with fish. Desserts include taralli dolci, made with sugar glaze and scented with anise and calzoncelli, fried pastries filled with a cream of chestnuts and chocolate.
The most famous wine of the region is the Aglianico del Vulture, others include Matera, Terre dell'Alta Val d'Agri and Grottino di Roccanova. 
Basilicata is also known for its mineral waters which are sold widely in Italy. The springs are mostly located in the volcanic basin of the Vulture area. 
In Calabria, a history of French rule under the House of Anjou and Napoleon, along with Spanish influences, affected the language and culinary skills as seen in the naming of things such as cake, gatò, from the French gateau. Seafood includes swordfish, shrimp, lobster, sea urchin, and squid. Macaroni-type pasta is widely used in regional dishes, often served with goat, beef, or pork sauce and salty ricotta. 
Main courses include frìttuli (prepared by boiling pork rind, meat, and trimmings in pork fat), different varieties of spicy sausages (like Nduja and Capicola), goat, and land snails. Melon and watermelon are traditionally served in a chilled fruit salad or wrapped in ham.  Calabrian wines include Greco di Bianco, Bivongi, Cirò, Dominici, Lamezia, Melissa, Pollino, Sant'Anna di Isola Capo Rizzuto, San Vito di Luzzi, Savuto, Scavigna, and Verbicaro.
Calabrese pizza has a Neapolitan-based structure with fresh tomato sauce and a cheese base, but is unique because of its spicy flavor. Some of the ingredients included in a Calabrese pizza are thinly sliced hot soppressata, hot capicola, hot peppers, and fresh mozzarella.
Campania extensively produces tomatoes, peppers, spring onions, potatoes, artichokes, fennel, lemons, and oranges which all take on the flavor of volcanic soil. The Gulf of Naples offers fish and seafood. Campania is one of the largest producers and consumers of pasta in Italy, especially spaghetti. In the regional cuisine, pasta is prepared in various styles that can feature tomato sauce, cheese, clams, and shellfish. 
Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a popular dish made with olives, tomatoes, anchovies, capers, chili peppers, and garlic. The region is well-known also for its mozzarella production (especially from the milk of water buffalo) that's used in a variety of dishes, including parmigiana (shallow fried eggplant slices layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked). Desserts include struffoli (deep fried balls of dough), ricotta-based pastiera and sfogliatelle, and rum-dipped babà. 
Originating in Neapolitan cuisine, pizza has become popular in many different parts of the world.  Pizza is an oven-baked, flat, disc-shaped bread typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese (usually mozzarella), and various toppings depending on the culture. Since the original pizza, several other types of pizzas have evolved.
Since Naples was the capital of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, its cuisine took much from the culinary traditions of all the Campania region, reaching a balance between dishes based on rural ingredients (pasta, vegetables, cheese) and seafood dishes (fish, crustaceans, mollusks). A vast variety of recipes is influenced by the local aristocratic cuisine, like timballo and Sartù di riso, pasta or rice dishes with very elaborate preparation, while the dishes coming from the popular traditions contain inexpensive but nutritionally healthy ingredients, like pasta with beans and other pasta dishes with vegetables.
Emilia-Romagna is especially known for its egg and filled pasta made with soft wheat flour. The Romagna subregion is renowned for pasta dishes like cappelletti, garganelli, strozzapreti, sfoglia lorda, and tortelli alla lastra [ it] as well as cheeses such as squacquerone [ it] , Piadina snacks are also a specialty of the subregion.
Bologna and Modena are notable for pasta dishes like tortellini, lasagne, gramigna, and tagliatelle which are found also in many other parts of the region in different declinations, while Ferrara is known for cappellacci di zucca, pumpkin-filled dumplings, and Piacenza for Pisarei e faśö, wheat gnocchi with beans and lard. The celebrated balsamic vinegar is made only in the Emilian cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, following legally binding traditional procedures. 
In the Emilia subregion, except Piacenza which is heavily influenced by the cuisines of Lombardy, rice is eaten to a lesser extent than the rest of northern Italy. Polenta, a maize-based side dish, is common in both Emilia and Romagna.
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced in Reggio Emilia (also known for erbazzone, a kind of egg and vegetables quiche), Parma, Modena, and Bologna and is often used in cooking. Grana Padano cheese is produced in Piacenza.
Although the Adriatic coast is a major fishing area (well known for its eels and clams harvested in the Comacchio lagoon), the region is more famous for its meat products, especially pork-based, that include cold cuts such as Parma's prosciutto, culatello, and Salame Felino [ it] Piacenza's pancetta, coppa, and salami Bologna's mortadella and salame rosa Zampone Modena [ it] , cotechino, and cappello del prete [ it] and Ferrara's salama da sugo [ it] . Piacenza is also known for some dishes prepared with horse and donkey meat. Regional desserts include zuppa inglese (custard-based dessert made with sponge cake and Alchermes liqueur),panpepato (Christmas cake made with pepper, chocolate, spices, and almonds), tenerina (butter and chocolate cake) and torta degli addobbi (rice and milk cake).
Friuli-Venezia Giulia Edit
Friuli-Venezia Giulia conserved, in its cuisine, the historical links with Austria-Hungary. Udine and Pordenone, in the western part of Friuli, are known for their traditional San Daniele del Friuli ham, Montasio cheese, and Frico cheese dish. Other typical dishes are pitina (meatballs made of smoked meats), game, and various types of gnocchi and polenta.
The majority of the eastern regional dishes are heavily influenced by Austrian, Hungarian, Slovene and Croatian cuisines: typical dishes include Istrian stew (soup of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon, and spare ribs), Vienna sausages, goulash, ćevapi, apple strudel, gugelhupf. Pork can be spicy and is often prepared over an open hearth called a fogolar. Collio Goriziano, Friuli Isonzo, Colli Orientali del Friuli, and Ramandolo are well-known denominazione di origine controllata regional wines.
But the seafood from the Adriatic is also used in this area. While the tuna fishing has declined, the anchovies from the Gulf of Trieste off Barcola (in the local dialect: "Sardoni barcolani") are a special and sought-after delicacy.   
Liguria is known for herbs and vegetables (as well as seafood) in its cuisine. Savory pies are popular, mixing greens and artichokes along with cheeses, milk curds, and eggs. Onions and olive oil are used. Because of a lack of land suitable for wheat, the Ligurians use chickpeas in farinata and polenta-like panissa. The former is served plain or topped with onions, artichokes, sausage, cheese or young anchovies.  Farinata is typically cooked in a wood-fired oven, similar to southern pizzas. Furthermore, fresh fish features heavily in Ligurian cuisine. Baccala, or salted cod, features prominently as a source of protein in coastal regions. It is traditionally prepared in a soup.
Hilly districts use chestnuts as a source of carbohydrates. Ligurian pastas include corzetti, typically stamped with traditional designs, from the Polcevera valley pansoti [ it] , a triangular shaped ravioli filled with vegetables piccagge, pasta ribbons made with a small amount of egg and served with artichoke sauce or pesto sauce trenette, made from whole wheat flour cut into long strips and served with pesto boiled beans and potatoes and trofie, a Ligurian gnocchi made from whole grain flour and boiled potatoes, made into a spiral shape and often tossed in pesto.  Many Ligurians emigrated to Argentina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, influencing the cuisine of the country (which was otherwise dominated by meat and dairy products that the narrow Ligurian hinterland would have not allowed). Pesto, sauce made from basil and other herbs, is uniquely Ligurian, and features prominently among Ligurian pastas.
Pasta dishes based on the use of guanciale (unsmoked bacon prepared with pig's jowl or cheeks) are often found in Lazio, such as pasta alla carbonara and pasta all'amatriciana. Another pasta dish of the region is arrabbiata, with spicy tomato sauce. The regional cuisine widely use offal, resulting in dishes like the entrail-based rigatoni with pajata sauce and coda alla vaccinara. 
Iconic of Lazio is cheese made from ewes' milk (Pecorino Romano), porchetta (savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast) and Frascati white wine. The influence of the ancient Jewish community can be noticed in the Roman cuisine's traditional carciofi alla giudia. 
The regional cuisine of Lombardy is heavily based upon ingredients like maize, rice, beef, pork, butter, and lard. Rice dishes are very popular in this region, often found in soups as well as risotto. The best-known version is risotto alla milanese [ it] , flavoured with saffron. Due to its characteristic yellow color, it is often called risotto giallo. The dish is sometimes served with ossobuco (cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth). 
Other regional specialities include cotoletta alla milanese (a fried breaded cutlet of veal similar to Wiener schnitzel, but cooked "bone-in"), cassoeula (a typically winter dish prepared with cabbage and pork), Mostarda (rich condiment made with candied fruit and a mustard flavoured syrup), Valtellina's bresaola (air-dried salted beef), pizzoccheri (a flat ribbon pasta made with 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour cooked along with greens, cubed potatoes, and layered with pieces of Valtellina Casera cheese), casoncelli (a kind of stuffed pasta, usually garnished with melted butter and sage, typical of Brescia) and tortelli di zucca [ it] (a type of ravioli with pumpkin filling, usually garnished with melted butter and sage or tomato). 
Regional cheeses include Grana Padano, Gorgonzola, Crescenza, Robiola, and Taleggio (the plains of central and southern Lombardy allow intensive cattle farming). Polenta is common across the region. Regional desserts include the famous panettone (soft sweet bread with raisins and candied citron and orange chunks).
On the coast of Marche, fish and seafood are produced. Inland, wild and domestic pigs are used for sausages and hams. These hams are not thinly sliced, but cut into bite-sized chunks. Suckling pig, chicken, and fish are often stuffed with rosemary or fennel fronds and garlic before being roasted or placed on the spit. 
Ascoli, Marche's southernmost province, is well known for olive ascolane [ it] , (stoned olives stuffed with several minced meats, egg, and Parmesan, then fried).  Another well-known Marche product are the Maccheroncini di Campofilone [ it] , from little town of Campofilone, a kind of hand-made pasta made only of hard grain flour and eggs, cut so thin that melts in one's mouth.
Between the Alps and the Po valley, featuring a large number of different ecosystems, the Piedmont region offers the most refined and varied cuisine of the Italian peninsula. As a point of union between traditional Italian and French cuisine, Piedmont is the Italian region with the largest number of cheeses with protected geographical status and wines under DOC. It is also the region where both the Slow Food association and the most prestigious school of Italian cooking, the University of Gastronomic Sciences, were founded. 
Piedmont is a region where gathering nuts, mushrooms, and cardoons, as well as hunting and fishing, are commonplace. Truffles, garlic, seasonal vegetables, cheese, and rice feature in the cuisine. Wines from the Nebbiolo grape such as Barolo and Barbaresco are produced as well as wines from the Barbera grape, fine sparkling wines, and the sweet, lightly sparkling, Moscato d'Asti. The region is also famous for its Vermouth and Ratafia production. 
Castelmagno is a prized cheese of the region. Piedmont is also famous for the quality of its Carrù beef (particularly bue grasso, "fat ox"), hence the tradition of eating raw meat seasoned with garlic oil, lemon, and salt carpaccio Brasato al vino, wine stew made from marinated beef and boiled beef served with various sauces. 
The food most typical of the Piedmont tradition are the traditional agnolotti (pasta folded over with roast beef and vegetable stuffing), paniscia (a typical dish of Novara, a kind of risotto with Arborio rice or Maratelli rice, the typical kind of Saluggia beans, onion, Barbera wine, lard, salami, season vegetables, salt and pepper), taglierini (thinner version of tagliatelle), bagna cauda (sauce of garlic, anchovies, olive oil, and butter), and bicerin (hot drink made of coffee, chocolate, and whole milk). Piedmont is one of the Italian capitals of pastry and chocolate in particular, with products like Nutella, gianduiotto, and marron glacé that are famous worldwide. 
Suckling pig and wild boar are roasted on the spit or boiled in stews of beans and vegetables, thickened with bread. Herbs such as mint and myrtle are widely used in the regional cuisine. Sardinia also has many special types of bread, made dry, which keeps longer than high-moisture breads. 
Also baked are carasau bread civraxu [ it] , coccoi a pitzus [ it] , a highly decorative bread, and pistocu [ it] made with flour and water only, originally meant for herders, but often served at home with tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, and a strong cheese. Rock lobster, scampi, squid, tuna, and sardines are the predominant seafoods. 
Casu marzu is a very strong cheese produced in Sardinia, but is of questionable legality due to hygiene concerns. 
Sicily shows traces of all the cultures which established themselves on the island over the last two millennia. Although its cuisine undoubtedly has a predominantly Italian base, Sicilian food also has Spanish, Greek and Arab influences. Dionysus is said to have introduced wine to the region: a trace of historical influence from Ancient Greece. 
The ancient Romans introduced lavish dishes based on goose. The Byzantines favored sweet and sour flavors and the Arabs brought sugar, citrus, rice, spinach, and saffron. The Normans and Hohenstaufens had a fondness for meat dishes. The Spanish introduced items from the New World including chocolate, maize, turkey, and tomatoes. 
Much of the island's cuisine encourages the use of fresh vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, as well as fish such as tuna, sea bream, sea bass, cuttlefish, and swordfish. In Trapani, in the extreme western corner of the island, North African influences are clear in the use of various couscous based dishes, usually combined with fish.  Mint is used extensively in cooking unlike the rest of Italy.
Traditional specialties from Sicily include arancini (a form of deep-fried rice croquettes), pasta alla Norma, caponata, pani ca meusa, and a host of desserts and sweets such as cannoli, granita, and cassata. 
Typical of Sicily is Marsala, a red, fortified wine similar to Port and largely exported.  
Trentino-Alto Adige Edit
Before the Council of Trent in the middle of the 16th century, the region was known for the simplicity of its peasant cuisine. When the prelates of the Catholic Church established there, they brought the art of fine cooking with them. Later, also influences from Venice and the Austrian Habsburg Empire came in. 
The Trentino subregion produces various types of sausages, polenta, yogurt, cheese, potato cake, funnel cake, and freshwater fish. In the Südtirol (Alto Adige) subregion, due to the German-speaking majority population, strong Austrian and Slavic influences prevail. The most renowned local product is traditional speck juniper-flavored ham which, as Speck Alto Adige, is regulated by the European Union under the protected geographical indication (PGI) status. Goulash, knödel, apple strudel, kaiserschmarrn, krapfen, rösti, spätzle, and rye bread are regular dishes, along with potatoes, dumpling, homemade sauerkraut, and lard.  The territory of Bolzano is also reputed for its Müller-Thurgau white wines.
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