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Italian Dishes You’ve Probably Never Tried (But Should)

Look, we all love Italian food. We’ve all salivated over delicious looking slices of pizza, fresh pastas, and tart tomato sauces. But there’s an entire world of Italian dish you’ve probably never tried. And let’s be honest—you probably should venture beyond red sauce and spaghetti and pizza. They’re classics to be sure, but there’s so much more to love!

Alright, let’s start weird. If you haven’t tried Calamari yet, you are missing out. Calamari is, (brace yourself) deep fried squid, prepared in a classic Italian batter. It’s chewy and sweet, served with red sauce and hot peppers. Calamari, while odd to think about, can’t be missed. Often offered as an appetizer, be sure to not miss it as a kick-off to your meal!

Don’t even try to pronounce it like it’s spelled. This Italian dessert is pronounced “s-foy-a-dell” and it is not a dessert to be missed. Sfogliatelles look like a clamshell in pastry form, with flaky layers layered with orange rind and mascarpone cheese. It’s a delicate and tender dessert, often dressed with honey and powdered sugar. Visit your local Italian bakery to order a dozen of these. Because we can promise you they won’t last long!

In departure from your traditional red-sauce beef meatballs, a Tuscan classic is a wild boar meatball, made from the meat of wild boars, a type of wild hog that runs rampant throughout Tuscany. These meatballs aren’t often stewed in red sauce. Instead they are prepared with rosemary and olive oil, often in lemon and white wine sauce. Their flavor is a tender fresh smoothness, offset with the lemons, garlic and olive oil. You can’t go wrong with a wild boar meatball.

While not exactly an uncommon order, linguine with clams is a classic southern Italian dish in which a pasta is tossed in a lemon and white wine reduction with fresh clams that steam in the white wine and garlic. It results in a pasta unburdened by the heaviness of some sauces, and instead is a light, tasty meal for seafood lovers. Check it out!

This is one piece of Italian cooking you could even make at home, chicken piccata. Start by hammering a chicken breast super thin, drape it in flour and cook it in lemons, capers, and white wine. Chicken piccata is cooked perfectly through, so the chicken stays juicy and gets all the flavor of the lemons and capers soaked up. Tasty!

The next time you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to check out these tasty dishes. There’s so much more to Italian dining than pasta with red sauce and pizza! But of course when it comes to Italian food, you really can’t go wrong. And if food this fancy isn’t quite your style, that’s okay. After all—there’s nothing wrong with a piping hot pizza and some hot wings, right? See you soon!