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10 Traditional Italian Pasta Dishes

Italy and pasta is like a match made in heaven. They simply belong with each other, no questions asked. But when it comes to pasta, what are the best dishes to eat? We have the answer for you! Here are 10 of the best traditional pasta dishes to try the next time you are craving some Italian food. 

1. Pesto alla Trapanese 
This is a typical Sicilian sauce with origins from the city of Trapani. The traditional way of making this dish includes crushing all ingredients in a mortar, or blender, 

2. Pasta al Pesto
A classic, popular dish found all over the world. Pesto pasta is a quick and easy meal to make when you are short on time and looking to escape to Italy. Pair it with bruschetta and you are set for the night. There are eight main ingredients in a traditional Italian pesto dish: pasta, extra virgin olive oil, lightly toasted pine nuts, pecorino romano, parmigiano reggiano, sea salt, basil, and garlic.


3. Tortellini in Brodo
This is one of Italy’s most iconic pasta dishes. Specifically, in Emilia Romagna, this is the most famous traditional dish. 

4. Pasta alla Carbonara
Again, one of the easiest Italian dishes to make. Pasta alla Carbonara is a meat lover’s dream by combining a cream sauce with guanciale for a decadent dinner. 

5. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe 
This is one of the simplest Italian dishes you can find. With only three ingredients, a toddler could make it. It consists of spaghetti, Cacio, which is a pecorino romano cheese, and black pepper. The key to perfecting this dish is developing the cheese sauce to be a creamy texture instead of clumpy. 

6. Lasagna
I hope you don’t think of frozen TV dinner lasagna or your grandma’s interesting concoction of leftover meats and veggies when you think of lasagna. In order to make a traditional lasagna dish, you begin with the Besciamella sauce, then add layers of the bolognese sauce and the lasagna noodles with Besciamella sauce in between. 

7. Vesuvius al Ragù di Salsiccia 
Also known as pasta with sausage ragu. Depending on what region you come from, the recipe for this dish can differ greatly. This dish traditionally consists of tomatoes, onions, and little sausage pieces served with vesuvio pasta. 

8. Pasta alla Norma
For those of you that love vegetables in your dishes, pasta alla norma is calling your name. The main ingredient in this dish is eggplant and can accompany any type of pasta and cheese. 

9. Gnocchi al Gorgonzola 
Although gnocchi is not technically pasta, it is still a classic Italian dish. Accompanied by gorgonzola cheese, an interesting food, but paired with the potato dumplings and cream sauce, is a heavenly addition to this dish. 

10. Frutti di Mare
For my seafood lovers, this dish is for you. This is a simple seafood dish that contains shrimp, squid, clams, and mussels. 

If you’ve got a taste for one of these traditional dishes, check out North Beach to find some amazing authentic Italian restaurants. Check out some of our favorites here.

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