Italian Cuisine is much more diverse than just Pizza

When we think of Italian food, most of us think pizza or pasta, but that misses the mark.  With roots reaching back to antiquity, authentic Italian food is all about the ingredients, put together to create rustic, simple and fresh cuisine.

Here are some examples of traditional Italian Cuisine.

caprese salad

A favorite Italian appetizer, bruschetta is bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil and placed on a grill.  Then topped with tomato, onions and caramelized balsamic vinegar.  This tasty antipasto has its roots in southern Italy.

Insalata Capresse or Caprese Salad

A simple, flavorful salad of sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil seasoned with olive oil; sometimes dressed with balsamic dressing.


Nothing is better on a cold night than a thick, warm bowl of minestrone.  This recipe has been around since the Roman Empire and has adapted over the years to fit the times.  Currently the classic minestrone soup includes vegetables and pasta together in a delicious, hearty soup.


Similar to our chutney, pesto is a paste comprised of pine nuts, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil.  This aromatic combination is rustic and earthy, usually served with pasta or used as a dip or spread.


Most recently acknowledged as part of Italy’s culinary heritage, carpaccio is typically served as an appetizer.  Invented in the 1950’s, this dish is named after an Italian painter, Vittore Carpaccio.  Made with thinly sliced meat, usually raw, with seasoning such as lemon, salt or vinaigrette and considered a rather discerning delicacy.


With a crispy outside and a delicious gooey filling, this appetizer is made of deep fried risotto, usually filled with cheese, meat and tomato sauce.  The name means “little oranges”, presumably because that’s what they resemble.  The recipe came from Sicily after Arab invaders introduced rice to Italy.


A flat bread, usually made with dough similar to pizza crust, and olive oil.  Soft and luscious, this aromatic baked bread comes with toppings such as olives, sundried tomatoes and capers.

pizza ai frutti di mare
Pizza Ai Frutti di Mare

A typical Italian seafood pizza topped with squids, crab, lobster, shrimp, caviar, scallops, shellfish, clams, et al.  If you love seafood, this is the pizza you wouldn’t want to miss.


Somewhat similar to the familiar hot pockets, this Italian street food resembles Spanish Empanadas or Stromboli.  Folded over pizza-like dough, stuffed with cheese and pizza toppings.  This baked favorite is a perfect on-the-go snack.

Pasta Aglio Olio

Translates to olive oil and garlic, this is a simple dish with only five ingredients.  Patience is necessary to infuse the oil with the ingredients; however, this delicious minimalistic entre is so worth it.  The pasta is tossed in the oily, flavorful sauce and garnished with parmesan cheese.


Arborio rice, cooked in a dense broth, this dish has a silky texture as a result of the traditional slow cooking.  Rich, creamy and delicious, hearty Risotto originates in Milan.

Panna Cotta

A delicious Italian dessert, originating from Northern Italy.  Translates to cooked cream and traditionally chilled in ramekins to be served with coulis.  It will have a slightly jelled, supple consistency and should wobble but hold its shape until the last bite.


Ice cream, in Italian.  An evolution of shaved, flavored ice first recorded as a favorite as far back as 3000 BC.  The difference today is the slow churning which gives gelato its creamy consistency and enhanced flavor.


This decadent dessert translates to “pick-me-up”, presumably due to the caffeine in the ingredients.  Delicately crafted with expresso and Kahlua-soaked Saviordi biscuits, layered with mascarpone cheese and cocoa.  A sweeter option than coffee, Tiramisu has become a favorite in Italy and around the world.

Enjoy exploring these Italian dishes, many of which are available to sample at the Italian Villa!  Join us at the Italian Villa Restaurant in Allen, TX for a home-made traditional Italian repast today!



We are one of the premier Italian Restaurants in Allen, TX, offering home-made
traditional Italian cuisine.  Come visit us today at: 121-B N. Greenville Allen, TX
75002, Phone: 972-390-2189

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