In the south of Italy, ingredients like lamb, eggplant, tomatoes, and olives feature in many local recipes. Fish is also very much enjoyed there because the sea surrounds Italy's south.

Naples has been the capital of the south for hundreds of years and the tomatoes, pasta, and pizza from that area are legendary. Fresh, canned, and concentrated tomatoes from Naples are famous all over the world and this ingredient is the base for a lot of Italian recipes.

Traditional Luciana And Calabria Foods

Life is frugal in the Lucania and Calabria areas and French and Spanish influences can be seen here, as well as in Naples. Dishes like ragu, which is a thick tomato sauce, gatto that is a potato casserole and sartu, which are pea and meat-filled rice timbales, are popular in these regions, as well as a wide variety and abundance of seafood and fish.

This mountainous peninsula area used to be home to colonies of Greeks and many of the simple dishes from this part of Italy can be traced back hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

The kitchen of Lucania, which is also known as Basilicata, reflects the original dwellers of this part of the country, who were hunters and shepherds. The cuisine, which is mainly comprised of ancient, traditional foods, also includes the more modern ingredients of saffron and cinnamon, which can be traced back to the Byzantine influence. The area used to be under Byzantine domination.

Apulia – Home Of Fantastic Fish And Seafood

Pasta and produce are renowned in the Apulia region. This flat land produces vegetables and wheat and the local diet includes a lot of fish. Oysters and mussels are especially well loved, as well as various other mollusks and crustaceans.

Fish is more popular in Apulia than meat. Pasta dough, which is made with just water and flour (without eggs), is used in lots of Apulian recipes. Orechiette, which are tiny ear-shaped pasta, are especially well known and these are dressed with a tasty sauce or vegetables.

Pizza And Pasta – The Quintessential Italian Dishes

Pizza and pasta began life as dishes for the poor, since both are simple to make and cheap to produce. These recipes traveled with Italian immigrants all over the world and grabbed the hearts and imaginations of many international cooks. Today, there are hundreds of different pasta and pizza recipes.

You can get savory pizzas and sweet ones. Maybe you have never tasted a fruit pizza recipe but this makes a wonderful dessert if you serve it with whipped cream or ice cream. Pizza can be deep dish, thin and crispy or with a stuffed crust and pizza sauces range from aromatic and white to full-bodied, red, and full of herbs.

When people think of Italian cuisine, these are often the first two dishes to come to mind although in Italy, and especially in the south, fish, seafood and vegetables play a huge role in the local diet too.