Exploring Italy’s most iconic pasta dishes

Pasta has a long culinary history and its low-cost, easy-to-cook from simple ingredients, variety of shapes and flavours, long shelf-life made it one of the common foods in a majority of people’s diet more than being the staple food of Italy. Over the years, pasta has grown its popularity from being kids friendly, dorm-friendly for students, a quick 20-minute dinners to chilled-snack and even great leftovers. Want to eat authentic Italian food? Check out Grapevine Shoreditch, an Italian Restaurant in Shoreditch.


A sauce is all we need’ -to spice up the hot drained pasta this simple mantra has made pasta be the favourite from many who might without even knowing their name nor their difference in their shapes would have consumed it. 


Here is a quick overview of the most iconic pasta dishes, time tested to enjoy for a simple evening to a date night dinner. 

  • Tagliatelle al ragù alla Bolognese – this traditional dish originated from Bologna. The combination of the tagliatelle pasta mixed with a rich beef ragù or sometimes switched with pork is the key ingredient.  A similar version of this the famous spaghetti Bolognese or sometimes the Tagliatelle pasta is replaced with the fettuccine or pappardelle due to their similar ribbon-like texture.  

  • Spaghetti Pasta alla Carbonara – this delicious pasta, which takes 30 minutes from start to finish is made with the silky carbonara sauce with a little fat from pancetta or bacon topped with loaded Parmigiano-Reggiano or the parmesan cheese. Though this is not the everyday simple recipe yet if you are on a spree to make a luscious dinner, then pasta carbonara is brilliant choice. 

  • Lasagne alla Bolognese – simply known as the lasagne has Emilia, Bologna as its origin place and is made with using béchamel sauce and rich beef or port ragù, layered between the freshly cooked lasagne sheets and baked in the oven. The rich and tasty ragù is best when cooked at least for two hours to a maximum of six hours. This classic dish is a mostly enjoyed over a family lunch or on a very special day.  

  • Tortelli di Zucca – also referred as Ravioli di Zucca is all the way from Lombardi, Italy. This is a stuffed pasta (dumpling) types traditionally stuffed with the pumpkin, nutmeg, crumbled amaretti biscuits, mostarda (apple based preserve) and grated cheese. The Ravioli has its versions of being stuffed with variety of fillings such as beef, crab, and vegetables.


  • Farfelle al Salmone Affumicato– yet another typical southern Italian dish prepared with smoked Salmon cut into small pieces, with a touch of vodka or white wine served with a sauce of fresh cream. Sometimes the farfalle is replaced with penne which tastes the same delicious way. 


  • Spaghetti Aglio e Olio – this traditional Italian pasta dish is from Naples, a typical Neapolitan cuisine. The classic dish is prepared using four simple ingredients which are spaghetti, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and olive oil. The key is to slow toast the garlic to perfect-golden brown to enjoy this flavourful all-time-winning dish in just 20 minutes.  

  • Trofie al pesto – as the name says it all, this past dish is made using Pesto or Pesto alla genovese sauce with its origin from Genoa, capital city of Liguria, Italy. The Pesto is made from crushing the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, and salt in mortar and pestle to enjoy its authentic flavour. 

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