In Italy, there are more than 400 different types of cheese, with each region having its own unique formaggi. Even while Italian food is already highly filling and well-balanced, adding cheese makes it even more delectable. Casein, a milk protein that coagulates and gives cheese its distinct aromas, textures, and shapes, is used in many Italian-inspired meals. They are made up of milk-derived proteins and lipids from animals like cows, goats, buffaloes, and sheep. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Italians like eating and cooking with cheese. Here are fifteen popular cheese dishes that are surely irresistible!
1. Brodo di Parmigiano Reggiano
Used leftover Parmigiano Reggiano rinds, which are flavorful, are simmered in boiling water for hours to create this cheese soup. The finished brodo is fragrant and has a flavor reminiscent of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. It is ideal for your next batch of pasta or risotto in broth.
2. Risotto Alla Parmigiana
This straightforward risotto highlights the “King of Italian cheese”! Italian Carnaroli rice is prepared with a big amount of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a thick broth.
3. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e pepe, which in Roman dialect means “cheese and pepper,” is essentially an Italianized version of macaroni and cheese, though we’re quite sure spaghetto cacio e pepe was the first. Even though there are just four major ingredients in the meal, using certified Pecorino Romano DOP cheese is necessary to achieve the proper cheesy-sauce consistency.
To guarantee that the sauce adheres to the pasta well, use spaghetti with a rough surface. Pour a little hot, starchy cooking water over the grated Pecorino cheese and black pepper after using hot, boiling water as directed for regular preparation. The carbohydrates in the water help bind the pepper and cheese to the pasta when the cheese melts from the heat. You’re done after you let them all combine and simmer.
4. Savory Snaps
Your ability to garnish food will soar to a whole new level with these salty Parmigiano Reggiano wafers. Each snap is made by melting finely grated cheese over a hot griddle while maintaining a small crunch. We enjoy eating them as a sophisticated snack or topping salads or cold soups with them.
5. Frico Friulano
A cheesy potato pancake called a frico friulano is created from potatoes. The traditional recipe comes from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia area of northern Italy, where Montasio cheese is frequently used in dishes. It’s not at all difficult to prepare this dish. You must follow the same steps as when creating pancakes to make frico friulano. Potatoes and some Montasio cheese are all that are needed to make the pancake stuffing.
6. Suppli al Telefono
A ball of rice covered in tomato sauce is called a “suppli,” an Italian light snack. These Italian rice croquettes are named after the telephone because as you try to rip them apart, the long strings of mozzarella stretch between the halves just like an old-fashioned phone cable. They share this moniker with the well-known Sicilian Arancini.
7. Burrata e Tartufo
Traditional burrata cheese is produced using cow milk, occasionally also using buffalo milk. It is the lovely, creamy sibling of mozzarella. Although the majority of people prefer to have burrata on its own, the earthy, black truffles make a lovely addition to the delicate, creamy flavor.
Combine some black truffles with soft, creamy burrata cheese to produce this dish. Fresh black truffles are always preferred, but if you can’t find any for some reason, you can substitute Urbani black truffle paste, which also works rather well.
8. Mozzarella Milanese
Another typical Italian cheese dish from Naples is mozzarella Milanese. The dish’s name has a Milanese component that has to do with breadcrumbs. To prepare this meal, slices of mozzarella are dusted, dipped in whisked eggs, and then coated with breadcrumbs. It just has to be fried in hot oil, drained, and served. Add a dash of pepper and parsley to the breadcrumbs, if desired, to season them. The dish is occasionally seasoned with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice when it is served in Naples.
9. Pallotte Cacio e Uova
The Italian cuisine Pallotte Cacio E Uova, or cheese balls with eggs, is from the Abruzzo region of Italy. It is a superb example of cooking in the country. Some claim that people first heard of these cheese and egg balls when they had leftover cheese and crusty bread.
The bread and cheese were mixed with eggs, made into balls, baked and simmered in a strong tomato sauce to make something nice. Garlic, red bell peppers that have been thinly sliced and minced parsley is popular additions to the balls. Pecorino or parmesan is also necessary for some recipes.
10. Polenta con la Ricotta
The major component of the traditional Italian cheese dish polenta con la ricotta, also known as ricotta rice porridge, is coarse polenta flour. Ricotta cheese is added to the polenta-based dish to give it an extra creamy flavor and texture. The other ingredients are tomatoes, pancetta, onions, butter, Parmesan cheese, seasonings, and olive oil. After being cooked, cooled, and cut into pieces, polenta.
Olive oil is used to sauté the tomatoes, salt, pepper, onions, and pancetta. Then the tomato sauce, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and polenta pieces are piled in an ovenproof dish, with the final layer of polenta placed on top.
11. Ricotta Frittata
Another typical Italian meal, called ricotta frittata or a ricotta cheese omelet, comes from the Molise region of Italy. Ricotta is fried in olive oil. The ricotta is then cut into slices and coated with breadcrumbs, flour, and eggs. After being cooked till golden and drained on paper towels, the slices are salted and served. This method of preparation results in the cheese developing a golden, crispy exterior while maintaining a soft, creamy interior.
12. Gnocchi Alla Bava
Gnocchi Alla Bava, sometimes referred to as Potato Gnocchi with Fontina cheese sauce, is a typical Piedmont-area dish. It is created with components like butter, Fontina, Swiss, or Munster cheese, and potato gnocchi. Sliced cheese must be spread over layers of gnocchi on a buttered baking tray. The baking dish is covered with foil after the final layer is butter-lathered. Before serving, the dish is fried for a few minutes until the top turns brown.
13. Gnocchi al Castelmagno
A specialty from Cuneo, gnocchi al Castelmagno is a traditional Italian meal. It is prepared using local Castelmagno cheese, potato gnocchi, butter, milk, or cream. The cooked gnocchi is then mixed with a butter, cream, and Castelmagno cheese sauce.
14. Mozzarella Fritte
Small mozzarella balls are fried to create the traditional Italian meal known as mozzarella fritte. The cheese balls are dusted, then covered in egg wash, breadcrumbs, and cooked in high oil until golden. On the outside, it should have a golden crispy crust, and within, the cheese should be hot, melting, and milky. The mozzarella balls need to be fully drained before frying if you want the perfect crust. Always served hot, mozzarella fritters are best enjoyed with a side of tomato sauce.
15. Tortino di Mozzarella
Tortino di mozzarella is a typical savory Italian tart made in Naples. Typically, it’s cooked with milk, butter, sliced mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano in addition to slices of stale white bread. Slices of crustless bread are coated with milk and placed in a baking dish that has been greased.
The bread is topped with slices of mozzarella, and the mixture is then sprinkled with a mixture of beaten eggs, parmesan, salt, and pepper. The dish is roasted in the oven until the mozzarella melts and the egg mixture puffs up. The tart is served hot after completion.
Italy is the home of many cheese-based recipes, many of which are exquisite. The Italians take great pride in creating things from scratch and, most importantly, with love. The Risotto Alla Parmigiana and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe are among the best of these recipes. Along with the list of additional cheesy meals, be sure to check them out. Of a nutshell, cheese—particularly Parmesan cheese—is a staple in Italian cuisine, where people can’t imagine life without it.