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To talk about Italian cuisine is somewhat misleading, as it is not a single entity. The country has been united only since 17 March, 1861 and Italians still have a powerful sense of their regional identity.
Regional cuisine is a source of pride and considerable competition. Sicilians are dismissed as mangimaccaroni (pasta eaters), while they express their contempt for Neapolitan cooking with the term mangiafoglie (vegetable eaters).
Each region bases its cuisine on local ingredients, so the best ham comes from the area where pigs are raised, fish and seafood feature in coastal regions, butter is used in dishes from the north of Italy where there is dairy farming, while olive oil is characteristic of southern recipes.
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|Vegetables And Pulses|
|Basic Tomato Sauce|
|Basic Cheese Sauce|
|Italian Red Wine Sauce|
|Italian Cheese Sauce|
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