How many times have you gone to a nice Italian place and ordered lasagna or fettuccine Alfredo? There’s nothing wrong with these choices, of course, but wouldn’t you like to try something a little more exciting?
There are dozens of delicious Italian dishes out there that many people have never tried. We all fall into the habit of ordering safe, familiar meals, but in doing so, we may be missing out on discovering new favorites!
Keep reading to learn about some of the best Italian foods you’ve never ordered (and why you should give them a try).
Unusual Italian Dishes to Try – Bresaola
When you think of Italian recipes, pasta is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, pasta isn’t the only thing Italian cuisine is known for–it also offers a wide array of cured meats.
One of the lesser-known Italian meats is bresaola. Made from beef, pork, or venison, bresaola is notable for its deep purple coloration and sweet-yet-musty smell.
Unusual Italian Dishes to Try – Arancini
Italian plates tend to make good use of cheese, and arancini are no exception: these rice balls are stuffed with mozzarella. They also feature peas and tomato sauce.
Once all of those ingredients are combined, they’re rolled in bread crumbs and deep-fried for a crispy, melt-in-your-mouth treat.
Unusual Italian Dishes to Try – Cacciucco
If you’re in the mood for seafood the next time you visit an Italian restaurant, you should order cacciucco. This stew uses a variety of different fish and shellfish cooked in a flavorful broth.
Cacciucco is associated with two interesting traditions. One is that traditional chefs will add a stone from the sea to their stew; the other is the idea that you should have five kinds of fish in the dish–one for each ‘c’ in cacciucco.
Unusual Italian Dishes to Try – Ossobuco
Ossobuco is a staple of many great Italian restaurants, but many people have never ordered it. Consisting of cross-cut veal shanks braised with wine and vegetables, ossobuco is tender and flavorful.
Though it’s delicious enough on its own, ossobuco is often served with a side of risotto.
Unusual Italian Dishes to Try – Pizzetta
A pizzetta is just what it sounds like: a small pizza. That might not sound as rare and daring as the other items on this list, but hold on–we’re not talking about mini pizzas with sauce and cheese. We’re talking about sweet pizzetta.
Many pizzettes use puff pastry instead of pizza dough and are topped with chocolate or hazelnut, making them perfect snack-sized desserts.
Unusual Italian Dishes to Try – Bomboloni
Everyone knows about cannoli, but were you aware that there’s another sweet, cream-filled treat that’s common in Italy? Bomboloni are donuts stuffed with a delicious filling. Fillings range from marmalade to chocolate and beyond, but vanilla cream is one of the most popular options.
Enjoy These Unique Italian Dishes
Italian dishes are some of the best in the world. Decadent sauces, potent herbs, flavorful cheeses–what more could you want? There’s so much more to Italian foods than pizza and pasta; next time you eat out, give one of these dishes a try.
Are you interested in expanding your palate even further? Visit our food and drink blog to find recommendations for fine cuisine, perfect wine pairings, and more!