25 Italian Restaurant Words You Need to Know
You’ll be an expert at ordering in no time.
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.
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.