Our Italian Cuisine Essentials

Italian cuisine arouses passions. It’s easy to get excited over pasta, pizza and dolci (desserts), which we adore unconditionally. Whether you prefer pasta, pizza or a hearty meat dish, here are a few of our best Italian recipes, tips for cooking them, and a few things to remember for your next Italian dinner.


Italians are the undisputed masters of pasta. Spaghetti, ravioli and linguini (among others!) all hail from this country from which we have borrowed so many culinary traditions.

Good to know

Cooking fresh pasta

  • 1. Let it boil: The water should not stop boiling once you add the pasta. If it does, there isn’t enough water. If the pasta bursts during cooking, the water isn’t hot enough.
  • 2. Salt the water: Salt is essential for seasoning pasta. It also limits the swelling of starch on the surface of the pasta, keeping it from becoming sticky. Add salt the moment the water begins to boil and not earlier, to avoid a chemical reaction that leaves behind small white dots at the bottom of the pan.
  • 3. Twirl or cut? Research has shown that a pasta’s shape has an effect on one’s feeling of fullness: A forkful of wrapped spaghetti is more satisfying than small pieces of cut spaghetti.


Preparing risotto takes a bit of patience…and a strong pair of arms. It needs to be stirred continuously for many minutes so that it reaches that perfect creamy and slightly al dente consistency. Patience and hard work pay off in the end with a tasty and comforting dish.


It’s found all over the world in countless iterations, but Italian pizza has that inimitable je ne sais quoi. Is it the dough, the tomato sauce or the cheese that makes it so special? It’s likely a combination of all three.

Here at RICARDO, we’re crazy about pizza. To cook it like a true pizzaiolo, it all begins with the perfect dough. Watch our video and see how to make our popular pizza dough recipe:

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Meat, Poultry and Seafood

Many of us likely think of pasta and pizza when Italian cuisine comes up, but several meat and seafood dishes are also typical. There are many braised dishes, served in rich sauces and, of course, tomato-based. Best enjoyed with a glass of red wine.

Did you know?
  • • The word “involtini” means “rolls.” When cooking, the possibilities are endless: They can be prepared with chicken, seafood, vegetables or even homemade sausages.
  • • Tuscan chicken is braised in a broth of wine, rosemary and olives. It’s a cacciatore-like chicken dish traditionally found in northern Italy.
  • Cacciucco hails from the city of Livorno, in Tuscany. This seafood casserole traditionally includes five kinds of fish, hence the five c”s in its name.


End your meal with an Italian dessert prepared with carefully chosen quality ingredients, such as mascarpone for the cannoli and a fine espresso for the tiramisu. It’ll cap off your Italian feast with a sweetness rich in flavour.

Did you know?
  • • The word “tiramisu” means “pick-me-up.” It’s a rather poetic way of describing this simple cake, which also acts as a great morale booster.
  • Crostoli are also known as frappe, chiacchiere, etc., depending on the different regions of Italy. These little pastries are associated with events like New Year’s or Carnevale.
  • • The torta caprese was invented because flour was accidentally left out of a chocolate cake recipe.