Italian food is an amazing world made up of an abundance delicious food recipes and flavors for every season. Winter is certainly no exception. There are a variety of stick-to-your-ribs dishes that are just right for those icy cold days. Warm pastas, soups and polenta…What could be more satisfying when the tips of your nose, ears and fingers are all freezing cold?
No matter where you go in Italy, north, south, east or west of the country, you will find delicious comfort foods everywhere. Here are 6 Italian dishes that are perfect to eat on a cold winter’s day:
Polenta: eat it anyway you like
Polenta is similar to grits but made with a finer grain of corn. It’s a classic dish found across Italy’s northern belt. It’s very simple and once it’s been boiled, it can be served in dozens of different ways: fried, grilled, solid or creamy; with tomato-based sauces like Ragú, mushrooms, cheeses such as gorgonzola and more… So get out of the cold and enjoy some warm, cheesy polenta!
If you want to know how you too can make some awesome-tasting polenta, here you find step-by-step instructions.
Cassoeula: a super-high in calorie dish to keep you fueled!
Cassoeula is a traditional dish from the Lombardy region. Because it’s high in calories, it’s perfect for cold, wintery days. It is made with cabbage, tomato purée, onions, celery, chopped carrots, black pepper and the least “valuable” but tastiest parts of pork meat (ribs, trotters, rind, etc..). When in Lombardy, do as the Lombardi do and order a plate of Cassoeula; the rich, concentrated flavors will certainly get your motor going.
Ribollita: a poor man’s food that is rich in flavor
Ribollita is a Tuscan soup made with cannellini beans, vegetables and leftover bread and is considered “a poor man’s meal” (although you don’t have to be poor to eat it..). In fact, this soup mainly consists of all vegetables and dried-out bread that has been boiled together. Such a hearty soup will certainly keep those winter sniffles away!
Melanzane alla parmigiana
Although there are some variations in the norther and southern versions of this traditional Italian dish, it’s a baked dish that is appreciated in all of Italy’s regions. “Melanzane alla parmigiana,” or rather “Eggplant Parmesan” is made with alternating layers of fried or grilled eggplant slices, tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. It can be ordered as an appetizer or as a main dish.
Baccalà: a traditional meat alternative
Baccalà, which is salted cod, is a typical winter dish that is often eaten by those who are avoiding meat. It can be fried with potatoes, braised with onions and anchovies or cooked in tomato sauce. This perfect seafood comfort food can be found throughout Italy.
Panettone and Pandoro: Christmas sweet breads
People often give Panettone and Pandoro as gifts on Christmas and New Year’s eve in order to celebrate the holiday season, consequently, families often find themselves with an abundance of these sweet breads far after the new year has begun. But that’s not a bad thing though, even after the holidays have passed, the deliciousness of this simple dessert can still be enjoyed all winter long! Read more about Italian sweet breads in our article titled, “Panettone or Pandoro? two of Italy’s most famous Christmas sweet breads.”