On the menu at your favorite Italian restaurant, there are probably lots of foods that you’d like to try. Maybe you’re an adventurous diner who likes to try new dishes or maybe you stick to your all-time favorites. If you stick to the tried-and-true, you’re not alone. Many diners just can’t bear passing up the pizza, the pasta with sauce, or the lasagna.
Pizza has been around for many years. In the early days, street vendors sold it. Because it was easily transported, it made it a perfect early fast food to grab and go. Because pizzas are flat, the vendors of yesteryear used to carry them around in a stack on their heads. This favorite food item listed on most Italian restaurant menus can be prepared in a variety of ways. Its crust can be thick or thin. The red marinara sauce is the most popular on pizzas. There is also a pie called a white pizza, which has no sauce at all or is topped with a version of a creamy Alfredo. Toppings can be anything from pepperoni and onions to Thai chicken with pineapple. Mozzarella cheese tops 99% of the pizzas prepared.
Pasta and sauce can be made in a variety of ways, too. The pasta can be shaped in long skinny sticks of spaghetti noodles, hollow rigatoni cylinders, elbow macaroni, and a slew of other varieties. Topping sauces can be tomato based or creamy. They can be plain or have meat, onions, garlic, vegetables, and spices in them. Meats typically simmered into sauces include sausages, meatballs, and even pork chops.
Lasagna is another favorite that is similar to the pasta and sauce dishes except it’s baked together in layers. Your local Italian restaurant creates this dish by layering flat rectangular noodles in a baking dish. Between the layers of noodles, there are layers of ricotta cheese mixed with egg, red or white sauce, vegetables, and sometimes meat. Italy’s dishes can be taste bud treats for vegetarians as well as carnivores.
If your favorite Italian restaurant has an old grandma who used to live in Italy as its chef, you are in for a treat. These women are privy to recipes that have been handed down for many generations. Some of the secrets include sauces that simmer for hours or even days, fresh garlic, spices, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh tomatoes and other vegetables. The fresher the ingredients, the tastier the pizza, pasta with sauce, or lasagna will be.