Without a doubt, Italy’s most famous exports are pizza, pasta and the cappuccino. However, it would be criminal to just classify Italian cuisine according to these dishes as there are so many more delicacies that this Mediterranean nation has to offer.
Fegato Alla Veneziana
Fegato Alla Veneziana (which is directly translated as Venetian-style Liver) is calf’s liver with onions that is sautéed in wine and extra virgin olive oil. Hailing from the Veneto region of Italy, this dish is served on either mashed potato or polenta which soaks up the gorgeous juices from the liver and complements the creamy texture of the liver.
The calf liver is prepared and cut into strips and the onions are finely chopped. In a pan, butter is melted with olive oil and the onions are fried until they sweat. The onions are removed, and the liver is added to the fat mixture. The liver is cooked until it is pink inside and once it is, it is removed. The pan is then deglazed with white wine and the livers – as well as the onion – are added back. Parsley is then added before serving.
Tagliata Di Manzo
Rather than serving an entire piece of steak, as you would find in a traditional steakhouse or similar type of restaurant, the Italians sear their steak and slice it up. The term for this is tagliata di manzo which literally translates as cut of beef.
Either a rump or rib-eye steak, with the bone in, is used. It is taken out of the fridge an hour before preparation so that it comes up to room temperature. A pan is heated so that it starts to smoke, and the steak is brushed with rosemary-infused olive oil.
Just before the steak is put into the pan, the temperature is turned down and it is cooked for four minutes – 2 minutes per side – and is then seared on the bone side. After being allowed to rest for between four and six minutes it is sliced.
The steak is usually served with fine green beans and only one vegetable accompanies the dish.
The arancini are fried rice balls which were made famous in Sicily. Supplì, which are also rice balls, hail from Rome. The difference is in their shape – the arancini are circular with the supplì being oblong. Another thing which makes them different is that the Sicilians stuff their rice balls while the Romans don’t.
To make the arancini you would cook Arborio rice, spread it on a parchment and let it cool. You would then prepare your filling and then mix the cooled rice into it together with eggs and breadcrumbs. The balls are then made out of this mixture, are dipped again in breadcrumbs, ready to fry.
There are so many dishes to try in Italy that you’ll have difficulty with trying them all! So when you next take a trip there, or visit an authentic Italian restaurant in your city, make sure that you broaden your mind beyond pizza and pasta…