Day – 19 : Italian Cuisine

A couple of decades back, the only Italian most of us knew was macaroni or spaghetti baked with pineapple and cheese (at least in India). Italian cuisine has now gained popularity across the globe, and is a popular option for fusion dishes as well. We now have the pastas and the risottos that many of us prefer frequently for our main course (Personally, yours truly loves Italian food because the abundant usage of cheese… 😉 )

With Italian cuisine, the number of ingredients is not as important as the quality and original flavor, still the key ingredients of modern day Italian cuisine are maize, bell peppers, tomatoes, flour preparations (pastas) and cheese. Apart from cheese, wine and coffee are key bonding components of Italian cuisine.Olive oil is another key ingredient of Italian cuisine. The nutritional aspects and health benefits associated with olive oil are now known across the globe, and hence the increase in its usage. Pasta is the most popular of all Italian main courses. Commonly available pasta’s include fusilli (swirls), spaghetti (thin rod-like), penne (cylinders) and lasagna sheets. Pasta is generally served with red, white or mixed sauces. Although not popular in India, pasta made with eggs is also a delicious preparation. Ravioli is a popular option that consists of spinach stuffing within pasta sheets.

Risotto, a rice preparation is another fundamental component of Italian cuisine. With risotto, it is possible to introduce multiple variations based on the ingredients. Vegetables, fish, seafood, meat are used to prepare the broth with risotto. Wine, along with fruit flavors can also be used to prepare risotto. It is the rice preparation that forms the core of the risotto, irrespective of the remaining ingredients or flavors added for the taste.

Talks about Italian cuisine is incomplete without considering PIZZA. We will not delve into more details with pizza understandably 🙂 other than to mention that it is a gift to the world by Italian cuisine.

Italian cuisine is abundant in desserts as well. My personal favorite is the Tiramisu (Literally means, Pick me up! – well,who won’t!), a layered dessert consisting primarily of coffee!! Another popular dessert is the “gelato” or the Italian version of ice cream.

These days, Panna Cotta is also in the race with these two! Panna Cotta means Cooked Cream in Italian. This dessert is made by simmering together milk, sugar and cream (and also the flavor if you are adding any!), mixing this with gelatin and letting the mixture cool till it is set.

For coming few days, I will be posting various pictures as well as the recipes of various Italian recipes, hope you all will enjoy it!