The Italian cuisine is one of the most interesting and simple cuisines in the world and is appreciated by just about everyone, young and old, Italians and non-Italians. The primary reason of this appreciation for sure is because it is very varied and offers many choices to satisfy every desire. Another reason is also because Italy is a land with such an old history and over the many centuries the influx of the different people that have traveled through Italy have left their mark. Now days, when people speak of Mediterranean Diet, of course the first cuisine that comes to mind is for sure the Italian Cuisine. So how does the Mediterranean Diet translate into Italian Recipes that one can make at home? Let’s take a look at some recipe groups:
Italian Pasta Recipes: All Italians love pasta and they practically eat it every day. Many times they eat it twice a day, for lunch and breakfast. The reason for this love is because Italians have created such a large variety of pasta shapes that can be accompanied by a very wide variety of sauces and condiments that can literally satisfy the desires of everyone in the family. Of course Spaghetti by far may be the most popular pasta cut, but many others are quickly catching up. Lasagna, Ravioli, Rigatoni, Tortellini are just a few that should be mentioned.
Italian Fish Recipes: It is no secret that Italy is a country surrounded by water and therefore it has access to a large quantity and a large variety of fish. More interestingly, Italian fish has also a more distinct flavor… could it be because of the saltiness of its waters? On every menu for sure you will find quite a long list of fish dishes prepared in a wide variety of ways. Then especially at Christmas, Italians will consume quite a large quantity of fish… and not because of the Feast of the 7 Fishes, which is mostly a myth, but because they just love it.
Italian Meat Recipes: Even though in Italy meat was considered a rich people food, many Italians, especially those that lived in farms, would grow their own animals and thus have access to meat as well. It was not unusual for those families to raise a pig and once butchered, every single part of the animal would be used to create a food product: Prosciutto, salami, pig feet, etc.. However, in line with the Mediterranean Diet, meat is not consumed in large quantities, it is only consumed in few and special occasions.
Italian Chicken Recipes: Chicken by Italians and everyone else, is considered to be an excellent meat both because it is very lean and also because it is inexpensive. Chickens in the Italian cuisine are very widely used as they can be prepared in many different ways. Perhaps the most popular and easy to make chicken dish is Chicken alla Cacciatore.
Vegetable Recipes: Vegetables play a large role in the Italian Cuisine. This is because many families would have their own garden and could grow their own vegetables, but also because vegetables have been integrated in many dishes including pasta.