With all the amazing food in Italy, where should you even begin? You may feel overwhelmed as you begin traveling to each region of Italy and trying to figure out which food is from each specific place- different regions have their own “typical dishes” which are introduced at many restaurants and cafes (though if you don’t speak Italian or do you research beforehand, you may miss out on some of the best dishes due to language barrier). Even food and wine vary considerably from region to region and sometimes even town to town. Italians are very passionate about their cooking methods and foods-the Mediterranean diet is one of the best in the world- and even one of the healthiest.
My boyfriend grew up in Rimini, Italy, I have spent a lot of time in the Emilia-Romagna region for this reason I’ve created this list to ensure you try some of the best most popular dishes from Romagna- though these are my favorite, there are MANY more dishes which are just as popular so do not limit yourself to this list when visiting, but rather use it as a starting point/reference.
- Spaghetti alle Vongole: translating to spaghetti with clams in English. Though this dish originates in Campania- specifically Naples, it is a dish you can find all over the coast of Italy and particularly the Emilia-Romagna region, since many of the cities are scattered along the Adriatic Sea.
- Piadina or Piada: A popular dish which originates in Romagna- more commonly, Rimini and Cesena. It looks like a thin flat bread and is prepared from flour, olive oil, salt, and water a simple method yet extremely delicious and popular to many locals. A piada is commonly given complimentary to many dishes at restaurants to accompany salads or main courses- used like bread in many settings. A piada can also be served as a main course, being stuffed with many Italian meats of the region like Prosciutto Crudo (raw prosciutto), Salami, Prosciutto Cotto (cooked prosciutto)- and many vegetables such as Pomodori Gratinati (breadcrumb stuffed tomatoes), Melanzane (Eggplant) the list goes on and on.
- Cappelletti: Similar to a tortellini pasta, though a completely different recipe. Many stuffed with Italian meats, cheeses, and varying items, then cooked al dente. They are prepared in a “cappone” (chicken) broth served hot like soup. Generally served in the during the winter months and prepared for holidays like Christmas and New Years.
- Brodetto: An Italian seafood stew, with many different seafood items. A tomato based broth with mussels, snails, clams shrimp, squid, and fish exclusively found from the Adriatic sea (Canocchia (squilla mantis in english), and Mazzalo fish). This is an item exclusive to this region.
- Mascarpone: A creamy cheese, this dessert is popular all over Italy, and genuinely made scrumptious all over Romagna. Made from Mascarpone cheese, sugar, water, and egg yolk- this dessert is the base of many other dishes like tiramisus and cakes. Having some characteristics of cheesecake, but much creamier and zesty.
Let me know if you get a chance to try these next time you find yourself in Italy.