Favorite Italian Foods

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2013 10:58 PM GMT
    I propose we share our favorite Italian dishes here! Growing up I've learned how to make "gravy" and a kick-butt lasagna. Italian food holds a special place in my heart -- it's my Soul food.

    The only thing I ask is can you PLEASE tell us if your favorite dish is:

    Real Italian Food
    OR
    Americanized Italian Food

    PLUS

    Where you think it comes from/origin?

    Example of a helpful RJ post (no need for a picture):

    Chicken Cutlets
    -I think Americanized Italian food
    -Growing up

    l.jpg

    My grandma never put green stuff on my mashed potatoes.

    Annoying Random Thought: Everyone loves the way my mom bakes, people ask her to bake. Then I saw how a friend who happens to be gay bakes -- everything tastes great and looks like it came out of a pastry kitchen (he just does it for fun; he works in fashion and doesn't have formal culinary experience). OH and I love Green Mountain Gringo Salsa (medium), I am eating it with a spoon! Yummy icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 11:36 AM GMT
    I could take or leave most Italian food, but I'm crazy about Italian desserts. Cannoli are my favorite.

    Cannolo_siciliano_with_chocolate_squares
  • KepaArg

    Posts: 1721

    Oct 07, 2013 12:06 PM GMT
    Bolognese, puttanesca, pink sauce, fresh pasta, ravioli, risotto. Milanesa, arugula salad, caprese salad, calamari, stracciatella

    GELATO!!!

    Italian fusion sushi as uni pasta or foie gras porcini risotto

    Even though pizza being Italian is debatable I enjoy a mushroom pizza time to time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 12:37 PM GMT
    Any type of seafood risotto. And it has to be real italian food.
  • ESL_Asian

    Posts: 176

    Oct 07, 2013 12:44 PM GMT
    SF79 saidI could take or leave most Italian food, but I'm crazy about Italian desserts. Cannoli are my favorite.

    Cannolo_siciliano_with_chocolate_squares

    What is it inside the Cannoli?
    I never taste Italian foods but pizzaicon_sad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 12:48 PM GMT
    ^^ A cannoli is usually filled with ricotta cheese turned into a creamy filling. It's delicious!
  • gymnerd

    Posts: 136

    Oct 07, 2013 12:55 PM GMT
    Spaghetti Carbonara.

    Mom's recipe only though; ordered some on London once and they put so much salt in it I actually gagged.

    And only get to eat it a couple times a year since it's made with whole cream, bacon, cheese, and a couple other things that would make your heart explode lol.

    "American" Italian I guess, since she starts with ingredients from an American cook book.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 1:06 PM GMT
    Being married to a 100% Italian I get to eat the food all the time, usually cooked by himself. Only his mother was born in the US, while his father and 4 grandparents all came from the Old Country.

    He had an interest in cooking at an early age, and in fact all the children were expected to help out in the kitchen. The dishes were mostly true to Italy, not heavily Americanized.

    He still makes unique specialty items and calls them by their regional Italian names, stuff you'll never see on an Italian-Amercian restaurant menu. He also makes pizzelle, a thin 4 to 5-inch brittle waffle cookie that looks like a snowflake, not only for the holidays but year-round, giving them as gifts. When hot from the press before they harden they can also be rolled around a tapered cylinder to form cannoli tubes.

    They originated in Abruzzo, where his father was born. Flavored with licorice-like oil of anise, I've acquired a passion for them.

    As for me, I like things with lots of cheese. So manicotti is a favorite, and of course pizza, though preferring the New York style I was raised on. And simple pasta dishes. I'm completely happy with angel hair spaghetti with a good marinara sauce, don't even need meat balls. And I make an elbow macaroni myself that I claim is the best in the world. icon_wink.gif

    Pizzelles:

    Pizzelles.jpg

    Pizzelles rolled as cannoli, waiting to be filled:

    th?id=H.4531505227366957&pid=1.7
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 1:40 PM GMT
    ^^^^^^^
    My mother is 100% Italian (Naples and Bari). I'm going to spell it wrong, but my mom makes tera-lou-chi around Christmas time. It's a cookie that uses a licorice flavored alcohol -- the alcohol she uses in it was actually made by a family member years ago.

    When you mentioned pizzelle I thought of either pizza-i-o a tender steak and spaghetti dish or this cookie with a somewhat similar sounding name that has a lot of almond extract and is gooey.
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    Oct 07, 2013 1:46 PM GMT
    ESL_Asian said
    SF79 saidI could take or leave most Italian food, but I'm crazy about Italian desserts. Cannoli are my favorite.

    Cannolo_siciliano_with_chocolate_squares

    What is it inside the Cannoli?
    I never taste Italian foods but pizzaicon_sad.gif


    The filling in a cannoli is extremely simple it's ricotta (I call it re-gawth), confectionary sugar, and vanilla extract -- some people add mini chocolate chips.

    The shell is more difficult to make. My ex was part Italian and actually had these special metal tubes to make cannoli shells from scratch.

    The filling is what makes the cannoli in my opinion -- it tastes sort of like vanilla ice cream, if you lick the spoon after you're done mixing everything.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 1:47 PM GMT
    6917988902_3687eb9923.jpg
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Oct 07, 2013 1:53 PM GMT
    Scruffy, you read my mind!

    Marcella Hazan, widely acknowledged authority on Italian cooking has just died in the last week at 89. I was lucky to ge a couple of her books at library sales a while back. It is fascinating to read about real Italian cooking and how straightforwardly it deals with ingredients and flavor.

    Hazan was Julia Child's go to expert on Italian.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 2:09 PM GMT
    AnOriginal said
    ESL_Asian said
    SF79 saidI could take or leave most Italian food, but I'm crazy about Italian desserts. Cannoli are my favorite.

    Cannolo_siciliano_with_chocolate_squares

    What is it inside the Cannoli?
    I never taste Italian foods but pizzaicon_sad.gif


    The filling in a cannoli is extremely simple it's ricotta (I call it re-gawth), confectionary sugar, and vanilla extract -- some people add mini chocolate chips.

    The shell is more difficult to make. My ex was part Italian and actually had these special metal tubes to make cannoli shells from scratch.

    The filling is what makes the cannoli in my opinion -- it tastes sort of like vanilla ice cream, if you lick the spoon after you're done mixing everything.


    Aah...Napoli. That explains the Ri-cott. Same thing in my family. It was mozarel, manicot, pizzagahm.

    My grandmother used to own a bakery, and she had short wooden forms to wrap the cannoli pastries around before frying them.

    As for the filling, she didn't use the regular ricotta you buy in the supermarket but the impastata ricotta she would buy from a bakery supply company in Paterson, NJ. It was drained and had a smoother texture.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 2:18 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    AnOriginal said Italian food holds a special place in my heart -- it's my Soul food.

    Yes, now that I notice, you do look Italian. I know it's as if I came straight off the boat icon_wink.gif

    I like veal marsala. American? Italian? Who knows?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 2:23 PM GMT
    Tiramisu
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 2:58 PM GMT
    Don't get me started on Italian food!! It's how I was born and remained fat most of my life! Any kind of pasta dried or fresh with butter, oil and garlic, pesto, Alfredo, marinara or bolgnese! Breads, breaded and fried or baked meats, risotto, pastas with ricotta and fresh mozzarella, all pastries, MING!!

    Don't forget pizza cooked in a wood or coal fired brick oven and made with fresh mozerella, and zeppole for desert !!!

    The wines, liquors like anisette galiano and Strega, and espresso, aka black coffee. These things are the finest of life's pleasures, along with a hot young man!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 3:23 PM GMT
    ^^^^^^^^^
    My Uncle Tony makes bread from scratch -- no joke! He also makes biscottis, meat balls, and homemade pizza
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 3:42 PM GMT
    Pasta and meatballs.My Irish mother made awesome gravy and my fiancee is a great cook too.Good for me but bad for my waistline lol Ryan.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 4:05 PM GMT
    ^^^^^^^^
    Awwww I love your PDA photo and I'm glad you call it gravy. There's always a debate about this in the family, but I stick to what my grandparents called it, sauce is thin and gravy is thick. My aunt's husband would chime in and my aunt quickly told him to sit his skinny German behind down -- that's the nice version.
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    Oct 07, 2013 4:26 PM GMT
    woodsmen saidTiramisu always sounds Japanese to me.

    Yeah, I always imagine it being spoken by Toshiro Mifune in a samurai movie by Akira Kurosawa, as he decapitates someone with his sword. Bon appetite!
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Oct 07, 2013 4:33 PM GMT
    I totally "Americanize" some of the italian style food I make - by doing things like

    - mixing pureed basil into pasta, instead of traditional spinach. (yes, it smells amazing)
    - making gnocchi from a blend of potato flakes and flour instead of baked or boiled potatoes (this also has basil in it) then boiling it with asparagus, served with parmesan and butter. as a quick week night veggie / carb dish.

    But when I do sea food risotto, all the stops are pulled out. The day before I make a fish stock of with salmon frames and smokey chardonnay, and then the risotto is done with butter and not olive oil (there's a huge difference in taste) and I spare no expense on the sea food, with at least double the seafood in it that any restaurant would put in it, half stirred in with the rice, and half on top.

    I suppose there's a cold place in hell reserved just for me, if not for my pasta and gnocchi sins, but that I also use my bread machine to make foccacia and pizza dough (though it's baked in the oven on a stone).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 07, 2013 4:36 PM GMT
    As a kid we all called it gravy, but other people always thought we were talking about brown gravy, so we switched to calling it sauce. If we want a generic term for meatballs, sausage, and spareribs cooked in sauce, then we still call it "gravy meat".
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Oct 07, 2013 5:02 PM GMT
    OK, Fred, 'fess up.

    Which chardonnay do you consider to be smokey?
  • biYguy

    Posts: 46

    Oct 07, 2013 11:44 PM GMT
    FredPDX saidI
    ....
    But when I do sea food risotto, all the stops are pulled out. The day before I make a fish stock of with salmon frames and smokey chardonnay, and then the risotto is done with butter and not olive oil (there's a huge difference in taste) and I spare no expense on the sea food, with at least double the seafood in it that any restaurant would put in it, half stirred in with the rice, and half on top.
    ....


    I love seafood risotto and have huge admiration for anyone who takes the time to cook it. I find it so time consuming. I now only order it in good italian restaurants. I need a bud like you!
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Oct 07, 2013 11:50 PM GMT
    barilla pasta and sauce