Unique pasta dishes you’ll probably find only in Italy

From savoury to sweet, there’s a whole variety of pasta dishes that are unique to Italy. Here’s a look at some lesser-known ones.

22 Oct 2020

With 20 regions in Italy, it comes as no surprise that there are over 350 different types of pasta and innumerable ways of cooking them. Each region boasts of several unique dishes and takes immense pride in them. So unique are these recipes, that they are often not very well known outside the region or country. And what better occasion than World Pasta Day to find out about some of these lesser-known specialities? Whether it’s using ingredients that you might have not heard of, little-known versions of popular recipes such as pesto and lasagna or even pasta that you can eat as dessert, there are various reasons why these dishes stand out. Here are six pasta dishes that you should bookmark if you ever plan a trip to Italy.

1. Pansoti

This classic Ligurian pasta features ravioli stuffed with wild herbs and a local cheese called prescinsêua, which tastes like a mix of sour cream and ricotta. The pasta is served with a version of pesto that features walnuts ground either with ricotta or milk-soaked bread.

2. Tortellini e Brodo

This dish seems like a simple recipe — tortellini in a meat broth. However, it’s a dish packed with flavour. Usually eaten in Emelia-Romagna during the winter, this comforting dish usually consists of stuffed tortellini in a meat broth, which is topped with grated cheese.

3. Pici alle Briciole

Pici is a thick, hand-rolled pasta that looks like thick spaghetti. Pici alle Briciole is a lesser-known Tuscan classic dish in which the cooked pasta is tossed with olive oil, homemade bread crumbs, red pepper and grated pecorino cheese. Other versions include anchovies and chopped garlic.

4. Calabrian lasagna

The most popular version of lasagna has Bolognese and Bechamel sauce. However, the Calabrians from southern Italy make their lasagna slightly differently. Their version has pasta and mozzarella that is layered with mince, chopped boiled eggs and sliced ham or mortadella.

5. Lasagne ai Semi di Papavero

This speciality is from the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, which borders Austria and Slovenia. Fresh tagliatelle is cooked and tossed in a sauce made up of unsalted butter, sugar and poppy seeds. The combination, though unusual, is said to be very delicious.

6. Gnocchi di Susine

If you like eating sweet and savoury flavours together, then you should definitely try the Gnocchi di Susine. This prune-stuffed gnocchi is commonly eaten in the city of Trieste in Friuli and is a unique recipe. The gnocchi is stuffed with prunes, fried in browned butter and breadcrumbs and topped with cinnamon. Dessert or main, have your pick!

Are there any unique pasta dishes you’ve eaten during your travels? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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