25 Italian Restaurant Words You Need to Know

1. Al dente: Of pasta; cooked – but firm to the bite.

2. Alla: In the style of; for example, alla parmigiana, meaning ‘in Parmesan style’.

3. Antipasti: Italian hors d’oeuvre of mixed meats, marinated ingredients, salads or hot dishes.

4. Bresaola: Air-dried salted beef.

5. Budino: Pudding

6. Cannelloni: Large pasta tubes for stuffing.

25 Italian Restaurant Words You Need to Know

7. Caponata: Sicilian dish of peppers, tomatoes, onions, capers and black olives, often including fish.

8. Carpaccio: A raw dish, most often of thinly sliced Filet Mignon.

9. Farina: Fine flour made from wheat, nuts and potatoes.

10. Fritti: Anything fried

11. Funghi: mushrooms

12. Gnocchi: Small dumplings made from semolina, potatoes or ricotta cheese.

13. Granita: Water ice.

14. Grissini: Breadsticks.

15. Milanese: In the Milan style; of escalopes coated in egg, breadcrumbs, seasoned with grated Parmesan cheese, and fried in butter.

16. Neapolitan: Ice creams and sweet cakes in layers of different colors and flavors.

17. Panettone: Rich, sweet, vanilla-flavored bread with candied and dried fruit and nuts. Baked for Christmas.

18. Prosciutto: Raw smoked ham, served finely sliced, e.g., Parma ham.

19. Risotto: Savory rice, fried and then cooked with stock or wine and additional ingredients according to the recipe.

20. Romano: In the style of Rome.

21. Tartufo: An ice cream dessert enclosed in a chocolate shell.

22. Torta: Cake

23. Tiramisu: A dessert made with layers of espresso soaked lady fingers and sweetened mascarpone cheese. Literally, “pick me up.”

24. Vongole: Clams. As in the dish linguini vongole.

25. Zabaglione: Dessert consisting of egg yolks, white wine or marsala and sugar, which are whisked together in the top of a double boiler over boiling water until thick and foamy.

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